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

Karilyn, right, with her older sister, Sabrina. Both siblings are members of the YANA family, after being helped by the community organization on separate occasions. Photo supplied
Siblings both members of the YANA family

Comox Valley non-profit helped Geiger family on separate occasions

A second-floor balcony continues to smoulder after a fire extinguisher was used to get a small balcony fire under control at the Washington Inn Apartments. Brian Hayward, who lives on the third floor, was alerted to the fire by the smell of smoke wafting into his apartment. Photo by Brian Hayward.
Courtenay firefighters respond to balcony fire at Washington Inn Apartments

Firefighters were called out to the Washington Inn Apartments Sunday, April 17,… Continue reading

RCMP forensics investigators scour the site north of Highland School in Comox, where multiple people were stabbed during a party Saturday night, April 16. Photo by Terry Farrell
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Comox bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault near Highland Secondary

Cumberland is surrounded by trees — and logging. Its council is supporting a call to stop old-growth logging in vulnerable areas of the province such as Fairy Creek. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland backs request to save B.C.’s old-growth forests

The Comox Youth Climate Council is asking local governments to take stand

Danita Bilozaze and her daughter Dani in Comox. Photo by Karen McKinnon
Valley woman makes historic name change for truth and reconciliation

First in Canada to be issued new passport under the TRC Calls to Action

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

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

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

British Columbia’s provincial flag flies in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Wildfire fanned by winds near Merritt prompts evacuation alert

BC Wildfire Service says the suspected human-caused blaze was fanned by winds

The Rogers logo is photographed in Toronto on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Rogers investigating after wireless customers complain of widespread outage

According to Down Detector, problems are being reported in most major Canadian cities

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
National fitness group condemns unlicensed Kelowna gym’s anti-vaccine policy

The Fitness Industry Council of Canada says Flow Academy is shining a negative light on the industry

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Nothing stopping provinces from offering AstraZeneca vaccine to all adults: Hajdu

Health Canada has licensed the AstraZeneca shot for use in people over the age of 18

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Most Read