Canada parliament condemns U.S. attack on Trudeau, country simmers

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada’s House of Commons on Monday unanimously condemned the personal attacks on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by U.S. President Donald Trump and his surrogates as the famously polite nation simmered over the weekend broadsides by its U.S. ally.

Lawmakers gave unanimous consent for a motion backing Canadian steel and aluminum, hit by U.S. tariffs, as well as the supply management system that supports key agriculture sectors, and gave a standing ovation for the government’s response to the Trump administration’s verbal attacks on Trudeau.

The motion in parliament, introduced by the opposition New Democrats, rejected “disparaging ad hominem statements by U.S. officials which do a disservice to bilateral relations.”

The purely symbolic vote of solidarity came a day after White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said: “There is a special place in hell” for Trudeau for his “bad faith diplomacy” with Trump, as a dispute over trade escalated.

Trudeau’s itinerary was marked “personal” and he was not in the House of Commons. The prime minister has kept a low profile since Trump called him “very dishonest and weak” and withdrew support for a Group of Seven communique reached at the summit Trudeau hosted in Quebec on Saturday.

Trump and his deputies took issue with Trudeau for telling a news conference at the end of the G7 conference that Canada would not be pushed around on tariffs – a point he had made several times before.

The prime minister’s silence on Monday came in sharp contrast to a roar of disapproval among Canadian politicians, who banded together across party lines to denounce Trump’s attack and praise the bilateral and trading relationship between the two neighbors.

While the agreement of legislators who are normally opposed on most fronts was remarkable, the anger also spread to pundits, officials, celebrities and ordinary citizens as Canadians vowed consumer boycotts of American goods and brainstormed insults of Trump on social media.

“Something strange and wonderful has been sparked by @realDonaldTrump’s dishonorable comments about this country. I think it might be a Canadian identity,” newspaper columnist John Ivison tweeted.

(Reporting by Andrea Hopkins; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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