OTTAWA — Former prime minister Stephen Harper is planning a trip to the White House next week, and hasn’t notified the current Canadian government of his visit, CTV News has learned.
According to emails obtained by CTV News, American officials are expecting Harper to visit D.C. on July 2, the day after Canada’s retaliatory tariffs on imports of U.S. goods and American-made steel and aluminum are set to come into effect.
It is unclear what the purpose of Harper’s visit is, and how long it has been in the works, but officials say he is planning to meet with American National Security Advisor John Bolton, who was the U.S. ambassador to the UN when Harper was prime minister.
In planning his visit, the former prime minister has effectively blindsided the current Canadian government, bucking convention by not notifying Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or his office about the visit. Harper also did not reach out to the Canadian embassy in D.C., Global Affairs Canada, or the Privy Council Office.
This move comes amid heightened tensions in the Canada-U.S. relationship with the prospect of a full-blown trade war on the horizon, including new tariffs on autos. U.S. President Donald Trump and his officials have also engaged in personal attacks on Trudeau via televised appearances and social media.
CTV News has reached out to Harper’s office for comment, but has not received an answer.