In the multiple-exposed image Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, left, asks a question and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau answers during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

In the multiple-exposed image Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, left, asks a question and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau answers during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

PMOops: Trudeau’s office releases account of him scolding O’Toole before it happens

After the call, the Conservatives said Trudeau raised neither of these incidents with O’Toole

A spokesman for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his office accidentally sent out an account of a phone call with Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole that hadn’t happened yet.

The premature account of the call Friday said Trudeau chided O’Toole about Conservative MPs’ downplaying the deaths of Albertans and comparing the novel coronavirus to the flu.

Alberta MP Rachael Harder shared a newspaper column on her Facebook page this week that pointed out provincial statistics saying that just 10 of 369 Albertans who had died of COVID-19 as of mid-November were otherwise healthy. And Ontario MP Dean Allison described COVID-19 as “influenza” in a talk-radio interview.

After the call, the Conservatives said Trudeau raised neither of these incidents with O’Toole.

The Tory leader, meanwhile, went into the conversation with Trudeau with proposals for how Canada could improve its relationship with the United States under president-elect Joe Biden.

In a letter to Trudeau, O’Toole said responding to the COVID-19 pandemic must be the first priority, including ensuring a continent-wide response to vaccine supply, the production of personal protective equipment and managing the border.

O’Toole said after that must come dealing with the threat posed by China, and Canada should seek to join an existing dialogue among the U.S., Australia, India and Japan to oppose Chinese military expansionism.

The letter also talks about the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that outgoing President Donald Trump approved but Biden opposes. O’Toole said it must be made clear to Biden the project is important to Canada’s view of the bilateral relationship with the U.S.

The letter cites a need for a collective effort on combating climate change, and a call to modernize the binational defence agreement known as Norad, which would include having Canada join the ballistic missile defence program.

A copy of O’Toole’s letter to Trudeau was obtained by The Canadian Press.

“This period of transition to the incoming Biden administration represents a unique opportunity to advance Canada’s interests and values on the world stage,” O’Toole wrote in the letter.

“It is my sincere hope the Canadian and U.S. governments can work together for the mutual benefit of both our peoples who have endured so much this past year.”

Afterward, the Conservatives said they discussed those elements of the Canada-U.S. relationship and finished by mutually “reaffirming the importance of eliminating COVID-19 and by wishing their families well.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

BC Liberalsfederal government

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

North Cowichan’s committee of the whole have rejected staff’s recommendation to limit the use of fireworks to Halloween. (File photo)
North Cowichan rejects limiting fireworks to Halloween

Municipality decides staff recommendation would be unpopular

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

CVRD Area E director Alison Nicholson, right, hiked two hours to Waterfall Camp at the Fairy Creek watershed along with Comox town councillor Nicole Minion and Comox Valley Regional District director Daniel Arbour to meet with old-growth logging activists on Monday, June 7. (Submitted)
Cowichan Valley regional director visits Fairy Creek protest camps

‘They clearly communicated that they are committed to what they are doing’

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

Most Read