Former prime minister Stephen Harper is no longer a politician having stepped down from the Conservative Party following his loss to Justin Trudeau in the last election.
But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t still have power and influence on the world stage, and now he’s doing something that’s blindsiding Canada’s current leader.
He’s planning what could be a vital trip for Canada’s relations with the U.S. but he didn’t tell Trudeau he was doing it.
Next month Harper will be visiting the White House, the day after Canada’s retaliatory tariffs on American steel, aluminum and goods from the United States go into effect.
He’ll be meeting with the United States’ National Security Advisor John Bolton, who was the U.S. ambassador to the UN for part of the time Harper was prime minister.
Usually, former prime ministers reach out to the current leader as a way of ensuring such a trip and the things discussed won’t go against the current government's position but Harper didn’t tell Trudeau he was planning this.
He didn’t even tell the Canadian embassy in Washington that he would be making the trip either.
It’s unclear right now exactly what Harper hopes to achieve for Canada in his meeting with Bolton.
Harper has come out publically recently with some words of support for the Canadian government's positions on trade with the United States.
This month he did an interview where he said that while he understood the position of American president Donald Trump that Canada was the wrong target for American tariffs.
Trudeau has not yet made any comments regarding Harper’s upcoming meeting.