Trudeau, Scheer talk Parliament, trade in first call
New Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s victory speech was peppered with attacks on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
But on Sunday, the two spoke by phone in the aftermath of Scheer’s win, one that now also makes him the official Opposition leader in the House of Commons.
Trudeau called Scheer from Italy, where the prime minister is on a state visit following the G7 summit.
“They discussed issues of importance including making Parliament work for Canadians and the important relationship with the United States,” read a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office. “They agreed to meet in person in the coming weeks.”
Despite the pro forma call, the Liberals have not wasted time attacking Scheer either, painting him as an extremist, with his call for an end to federal funding for universities which don’t guarantee free speech on campus.
They also released a new video about positive politics Sunday, drawing on a two-year old speech from Trudeau to showcase him as an inclusive leader, in an apparent contrast to Scheer’s socially conservative roots.
It’s likely to be some time before Scheer and Trudeau faceoff there, however, as the prime minister is out of the country for most of the coming week. Still, Scheer is expected to lead off question period on Monday, after a morning meeting with his caucus.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair posted his congratulations to Scheer on social media. His party is also in the midst of choosing a new leader, with none of the contenders having kind words for the new Conservative boss.
“He may be a relative young man, but he’s a dinosaur in terms of attitudes,” said Peter Julian, a longtime New Democrat MP in the running for the top job.