VICTORIA -- The impact of U.S. President Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday reverberated around the world, including in Victoria.

Giles Hogya heads up the Victoria chapter of Democrats Abroad. He says he was very emotional watching the ceremony.

“I cried. I cheered,” says Hogya. “I just let it all out to make a celebration.”

Geoff Archer teaches at Royal Roads University, but is from the United States.

He says Wednesday’s event — which included symbolic shows of support from past presidents from both the Republican and Democratic parties — reignited his pride in being American.

“What I saw, for me, personally, was hope,” says Archer. “I saw people from both sides of the aisle. I can recognize them by their eyebrows now because they’re all wearing masks, right?”

Watching the swearing in unfold from Washington, D.C., was former Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca MP Keith Martin, who called the mood electric.

“People feel a great dark cloud has been lifted from them,” he said from his office with the Consortium of Universities for Global Health. “There’s hope and optimism in the air.”

Beyond the pomp and ceremony, the impact of a Biden presidency on Canada could be felt in various ways.

On day one Wednesday, the new President already revoked the Keystone XL pipeline permit.

But Biden’s administration could be positive news for Vancouver Island’s tourism industry, as it’s more focused on the tackling the pandemic, says University of Victoria political scientist, Will Greaves.

“It’s going to really accelerate the rate at which we can reopen the Canada-U.S. border and get back to some of that tourism and normal economic activity,” says Greaves.

On Wednesday, the events south of the border were anything but normal, and were front of mind for many, including those a continent away.