Trudeau’s office botches press statement calling out O’Toole for spreading misinformation

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s attempt to call out the Conservative Party for promoting misinformation about COVID-19 stumbled tonight when PMO staff sent out a draft statement that itself contained misinformation.

Trudeau and Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole had a call scheduled for this evening. The usual practice after these calls is for both parties to put out a statement — a “readout” — describing what was discussed during the call.

Shortly after 4:30 p.m. this evening, the Prime Minister’s Office issued just such a note saying Trudeau “raised concerns around COVID-19 misinformation being promoted by Conservative members of Parliament, given Conservative MPs recently downplayed the deaths of Canadians in Alberta due to COVID-19 and compared COVID-19 to the flu.”

The call with O’Toole was not scheduled to take place until 5:15 p.m. 

Peter MacKay’s former director of communications director Michael Diamond saw the message and was quick to retweet out an image of the PMO email with the caption, “Why is the PMO pushing out misinformation? This is very concerning.”

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