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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Black Press Media file photo)
Youth gets combative with police at Victoria hospital

VicPD officer injured, youth kept in care under Mental Health Act

Acclaimed author Eden Robinson hosts a virtual conversation and reading from her latest book, Return of the Trickster, on Friday, April 23, in conjunction with the Vancouver Island Regional Library. (Photo courtesy of VIRL)
Island author brings Trickster in online library event

Fans of the work of Eden Robinson will get the opportunity to… Continue reading

A man with a history of sexual offences was arrested after he followed and aggressively tried to talk to two young woman on the weekend. Black Press File Photo
Man convicted of sexual offences arrested after teens followed in Victoria

Women hid in a Quadra Village convenience store as man aggressively tried to get in

A few dozen students and parents gathered outside Lansdowne Middle School April 14 to protest proposed budget cuts to SD61 music programs. From left to right: Lyra Gaudin, Cleo Bateman, Abby Farish, Brigitte Peters, Enid Gaudin, Des Farish. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
SD61’s proposed $7 million cuts threaten equity and inclusion, say parents, teachers

Music classes, inclusion services, reading programs on the line

Current unmarked residential streets are 50 km/h, but Greater Vancouver municipalities might consider dropping that to 30 km/h. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay, Esquimalt and Sidney join Saanich in application to reduce residential road speeds to 30 km/h

Victoria also taking part in pilot to change default speed to 30 km/h from 50 km/h

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

One of the grand prizes for this year's Hometown Heroes Lottery includes a seaside home at SookePoint, $1.5 million, and an Audi Quattro. (Photo courtesy of Hometown Heroes)
Hometown Heroes Lottery features seaside home in Sooke

A stunning seaside home in Sooke could be yours for the price… Continue reading

City workers from Duncan were busy recently putting up street signs in both Hul’q’umi’num’ and English. (Submitted photo)
Hul’q’umi’num street signs installed in downtown Duncan

Partnership with Cowichan Tribes sees English street names twinned with Indigenous language

Homicide investigators who asked not to be identified put up signs Wednesday, April 14, along the Nanaimo Parkway in the area where a body was found March 31. RCMP are asking for witnesses or dash cam footage as the suspicious death has now been ruled a homicide. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Suspicious death along the highway in Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

RCMP identify victim as Randell Charles Thomas, repeat call for any information related to the case

Most Read