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Other parliamentarians were more scathing at the premature release.
“It is truly the most deceptive government this country has ever had,” said Quebec Senator Leo Housakos. “And Justin Trudeau is truly the most deceptive Prime Minister. They are constantly focused on propaganda rather than treating honorably in the manner that befits the office they hold.
The alleged misinformation centered around a Toronto Sun article that revealed that Alberta government data showed 76.3% of people who died from COVID-19 in the province had at least three underlying conditions.
“Only 2.3% of the deaths – 11 people – were healthy people, dying without any underlying conditions. And those 11 people include very old people, ”Sun’s story said.
Alberta Conservative MP Rachael Harder later posted the column on her Facebook page, prompting Health Minister Patty Hajdu to accuse the Conservatives in the House of Commons of spreading ‘fake’ and “dangerous” information.
The reading released by the Prime Minister’s Office read: “Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with Opposition Leader Erin O’Toole. The Prime Minister briefed Mr. O’Toole on the new administration of President-elect Biden. The Prime Minister highlighted our priority to tackle COVID-19, as well as several key issues and opportunities, including climate change, trade, NATO, support for Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, the Keystone XL project and Buy America, which the Prime Minister raised in his conversation with the President-elect.
The PMO later confirmed that the reading was sent due to a “staff error”.
Before the call between the two leaders, O’Toole sent a letter to Trudeau outlining his priorities. The letter addressed many issues raised by the reading, including COVID being the top priority.
However, after COVID O’Toole declared that dealing with the threat posed by China was the next major problem, and Canada should seek to join the existing dialogue between the United States, Australia, India and Japan to oppose Chinese military expansionism.
With files from The Canadian Press