In tense campaign, Canada’s Trudeau defends snapping at protester

In tense campaign, Canada's Trudeau defends snapping at protester
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh reached Kitchener
New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jagmeet Singh visits the election campaign in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, September 14, 2021. Reuters/Nick Ivanishin

September 15, 2021

Steve Scherer. By

RICHMOND, British Columbia (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday defended his decision to yell at a protester who insulted his wife, Sophie Gregoire, as an increasingly tense election race entered its final days. Went.

Trudeau, who has been repeatedly harassed by people opposing mandatory COVID-19 vaccination ( election-race-tightens- 2021-09-13) and was hit by gravel at one point, reacting sharply on Monday while preparing for an outside interview ahead of the September 20 vote.

When one man made a derogatory and indecent remark about Gregoire, Trudeau shouted back: “Isn’t there a hospital you should be bothering with right now?”

Critics said the remarks were insensitive, noting that protesters gathered outside hospitals on Monday to voice their opposition to the COVID-19 mandate and provincial requirements for proof of vaccination.

When asked about the incident, Trudeau told reporters, “I have very thick skin, and I am able to withstand any kind of abuse.” “But he went after my family. He said hateful, misogynistic things about my wife… Everyone has their limits.”

Trudeau called the election a referendum on the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by his Liberal government two years ahead of schedule Struggled to overcome the unhappiness initial call.

With six days to go, the tone of the campaign has become more negative and belligerent.

Trudeau on Monday accused Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole, his main rival, of encroaching on people’s votes against vaccination. O’Toole portrayed Trudeau as a scammer, obsessed with retaining power.

O’Toole said Trudeau, 49, had presided over six years of broken promises since taking power in 2015.

He told reporters near Ottawa on Tuesday, “It’s time for Canadians to say no to someone who says whatever it takes to be elected — whatever it takes — and never delivers. “

Since 2019, Trudeau has had only a minority of seats in the House of Commons. This meant that he needed the support of other parties, mainly Jagmeet Singh’s left-leaning New Democrats.

Trudeau has consistently said that a vote for Singh would divide progressives and allow O’Toole to come to power.

Singh, however, said Canadians had a real choice.

“They don’t have to be stuck with liberals or conservatives, who have clearly shown on several occasions that they are not on your side,” he said in Toronto.

A Lager poll for the Canadian Press on Tuesday gave both Liberals and Conservatives 32% public support, with New Democrats at 20%.

Such a result on Election Day would leave Trudeau with less than the majority he is seeking, and could hand O’Toole a minority.

(Additional reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto and David Ljunggren in Ottawa, Writing by David Ljunggren and Steve Scherer; Editing by Grant McCool)


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