Liberal-Tory common front on NAFTA negotiations frayed by Khadr quarrel

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at the opening ceremony of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regata, Wednesday, July 19, 2017 in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

By Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press, July 20, 2017 

OTTAWA — The bipartisan common front to defend Canadian interests in crucial NAFTA negotiations is being tested by a cross-border Conservative campaign savaging Justin Trudeau for making a generous federal payout to Omar Khadr.

Some senior Liberals, including the prime minister’s principal secretary, have taken to social media to accuse the Conservatives of fanning anti-Trudeau sentiment in the United States just as Canada is preparing for the Aug. 16 launch of talks to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement.

However, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was unrepentant Thursday, arguing that if there’s any American backlash over the Khadr payment, Trudeau has only himself to blame. He dismissed any linkage to the NAFTA talks as a desperate Liberal tactic.

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