Trudeau blames Harper for fumbling Canada’s key relationship with U.S.
Ottawa: Justin Trudeau is accusing Stephen Harper of flubbing Canada’s most important diplomatic relationship, with the United States. After almost a decade of Harper as prime minister, Canada has less influence in Washington, the Liberal leader said Monday. He attributed that to Harper’s hyperpartisanship, which Trudeau said renders the prime minister unable to work with people who don’t share his ideology, like President Barack Obama. “Does anyone doubt that Harper would have taken a different approach with a Republican in the White House?’’ Trudeau asked during a speech to Canada 2020, a progressive think tank. He accused Harper of refusing to do anything to mollify American environmental concerns about the Keystone XL pipeline proposal, which would pump crude from Alberta’s oil sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast, and of further antagonizing Obama by trying to force his hand on the issue. He recalled how Harper told an American audience that U.S. approval of Keystone was a “no brainer’’ and declared that Canada would not take no for answer.