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OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is offering supportive words for U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft after a suspicious white powder was found in an envelope addressed to the American embassy in Ottawa.

Following a meeting with Craft on Friday, Freeland condemned the “wholly unacceptable threat made against her.”

“She does an essential and difficult job and Canada respects her service,” Freeland wrote on Twitter.

The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa called police Thursday after the letter was discovered by staff at an off-site mail-screening facility. Employees followed standard security protocols and tests on the substance eventually determined it wasn’t harmful, an embassy spokesperson said.

“The envelope was addressed the Embassy of the United States and it did have the ambassador’s name on it,” the U.S. Embassy said.

“We really can’t provide any further details about what was in the envelope because the incident is under investigation.”

The spokesperson declined to confirm whether the letter contained threats to U.S. officials, including the ambassador.

The incident involving U.S. President Donald Trump’s envoy to Canada comes amid heightened tensions between the two countries.

The escalating Canada-U.S. dispute has resulted in stalled trade talks, the imposition of tariffs and even a public, personal attack directed at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by Trump and his top advisers.

Last weekend, Trump took the highly unusual step of criticizing Trudeau on Twitter after his departure from the G7 summit in La Malbaie, Que.

The president grew angry with Trudeau after the prime minister reiterated during a closing news conference that Canada intended to impose countermeasures on some American goods in retaliation for “insulting” tariffs imposed by Trump against Canadian steel and aluminum imports.

Trudeau has taken issue with the fact the tariffs were applied on the premise that Canada poses a national security threat to the U.S. Therefore, he used the word “insulting” several times in recent weeks to describe Trump’s duties.

Trump called Trudeau’s G7 remarks “very dishonest” and “weak,” among other things. And a day later, two of his top aides piled on during TV interviews.

Chief trade adviser Peter Navarro said there’s “a special place in hell” for Trudeau and anyone else who negotiates in “bad faith” with Trump. And chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow accused Trudeau of betrayal and of stabbing Trump in the back.

Trump infuriated his G7 allies recently by slapping them with the hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum, a move that prompted Canada and the European Union to threaten duties of their own.

The U.S. has also threatened to introduce more tariffs that would affect Canada’s economy — this time on automobiles.

Times Colonist