Liberal MP says his own party unfairly labeled Conservatives over Ukraine, calls it “political game” 
Liberal MP goes off script, blames own party on “political games.”

Mike Campbell

March 21, 2024

Liberal MP Rob Oliphant ditched his party’s script this week in a surprising admission, stating that the Liberals’ constant attacking of Conservatives over the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement is all theatre, even calling it a “political game.”

Liberal MP says his party unfairly labeled Conservatives over Ukraine, calls it “political game” 

Oliphant made his comments on Wednesday during a House of Commons committee meeting.

“I believe Canadians’ commitment [to Ukraine] is unwavering — and despite the political games we play, I believe the Opposition’s commitment is unwavering,” he said.

The Toronto MP added: “I may get in trouble for saying that, but I really believe that. And we only get ahead if we do that, and don’t play games with this.”

The surprising admission comes after his party has been demoralizing the Conservatives over their refusal to vote in favour of their amendment to the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Act.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade (amended) Agreement 

The ongoing drama between Canada’s Liberals and Conservatives concerning the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement centers on a revised pact the Liberals proposed — and that Ukraine agreed to.  The updated agreement, which received backing from the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc Québécois, encountered resistance from the Conservatives over clauses advocating for carbon pricing.

In a follow up comment on Thursday, MP Oliphant, who’s parliamentary secretary to Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly, told CBC that the Conservatives also play political games. However, Oliphant stuck by his original statement, admitting the Conservatives actually do care about Ukraine.

Liberal MP calls for leadership review, then backtracks

In January, Liberal MP Ken McDonald sparked controversy by suggesting it was time for a leadership review of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. One day later, he reversed his stance. 

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