Trudeau, Scheer talk Par­lia­ment, trade in first call

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - TORONTO —

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.

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