Conservative MPs Michelle Rempel and Peter Kent last week attacked Justin Trudeau in the United States media in a pathetic, partisan attempt to score cheap political points in the next election.
Regrettably, their actions will only serve to injure their own constituents as the Government of Canada is set to re-negotiate the single most important and biggest trade agreement that impacts the Canadian economy.
Rempel and Kent are airing our dirty laundry south of the border at a time that can only undermine our relationship with the United States and President Donald Trump, without any possible benefit to their own constituents or the people of Canada.
The public and many Canadian media have been roasting the Trudeau Liberals for the $10.5 million payment to Omar Khadr.
Conservatives were quick to condemn the payment and won the communications battle to frame the issue against Trudeau. The Conservatives had their first big political win underway with their new leader, Andrew Scheer.
But then the former foreign affairs correspondent and former Conservative cabinet minister, Peter Kent, wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal attacking the payment to Khadr.
Michelle Rempel went on the Fox Network’s Tucker Carlson show.
Michelle Rempel: “Most Canadians are absolutely outraged about this.” https://t.co/2g1B3OC97t #Tucker pic.twitter.com/sJhWMOx8IX
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 18, 2017
Before that, the U.S. media had largely ignored the Khadr issue.
What possible benefit to the people of Canada could come of their actions? Kent and Rempel could have organized protests and rallies in their ridings of Thornhill and Calgary Nose Hill respectively.
They could have held news conferences in Ottawa demanding the return of Parliament to debate the Khadr payment.
Instead they took their attacks to Main Street USA in an effort to upset Trump Republicans and inflame the most unpredictable politician in the world – who, if upset, can only do bad things to our country.
Kent is a former journalist who lived in the United States and is a former minister of state for foreign affairs, responsible for the Americas. He knew the real impact of his actions and yet he wrote the op-ed piece anyway.
Justin Trudeau hands millions to Omar Khadr, whose victims may not be able to collect, writes@KentThornhillMP https://t.co/rkb5wIfn1Y
— WSJ Editorial Page (@WSJopinion) July 18, 2017
Either he doesn’t care, or he was taking direction from his new leader, when he knows better.
In either case it is pitiful.
It’s only purpose was to undermine the prime minister.
But he will pay the price.
I have spent my career working with politicians of all political stripes.
A job at City Hall means you have to work with Liberals, Conservatives and the NDP alike. You quickly learn that for all the political wars and conflict, 99% of all people involved in politics have more in common than they have differences.
They all want to do what is best for their country, province or city. While they may disagree on how to get there – everyone has their constituents’ best interests at heart.
Up until this past week there was a spirit of cooperation on Parliament Hill when it came to trade negotiations with the US. If Team Trudeau fails, then we will all lose.
The threat of a potential trade war with Trump and the United States is real and interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose had struck the right tone, holding Trudeau to account in Canada, while keeping our nation’s best interests at the forefront abroad.
Scheer needs to rein in his attack dogs, lest he wins the short term political battle while the people he is elected to serve lose the war.
Jim Warren is a Liberal political strategist and media commentator. He worked for former Toronto mayor Mel Lastman and former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty