Trudeau cancelled B.C. appearance after RCMP warned protest could escalate: source
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cancelled plans to appear in person at a Liberal fundraiser in British Columbia Tuesday after RCMP warned an aggressive protest outside the event could escalate if he arrived, said a source close to the decision.
The source spoke to The Canadian Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the situation publicly.
Trudeau addressed the issue Wednesday during a stop in Saskatoon, which was also attended by protesters who were verbally aggressive with the prime minister's RCMP protective detail and initially blocked his exit from a local senior's centre.
The prime minister did not explain why he chose to speak virtually to the fundraiser in Surrey, B.C., but expressed disgust at the “harassment, racist insults (and) threats of violence” targeting the mostly South Asian attendees as they arrived.
Witnesses at the protest reported hearing attendees harassed for wearing turbans, among other racially motivated insults. One protester is seen in a photo carrying a noose hanging from two flat sticks printed with the words “treason” and “Trudeau.”
“The safety of Canadians choosing to make their voices heard in politics should never be in question as it was last night and as we're increasingly seeing across the country,” Trudeau said.
“The fundamental freedoms we have as a country that we enjoy as Canadians need to be defended, need to be protected. Nobody should feel endangered or harassed because of their support for one political party or another. And that's something I think we all need to be vigilant about.”
He said all levels of government are currently looking at the issue.
This is the second time in 10 months aggressive protesters prompted police to advise Trudeau to change his plan to speak at an event. A campaign rally in Bolton, Ont., was cancelled completely last August when dozens of furious protesters chanting obscenities at the prime minister set up at the site.
He was followed by angry protesters throughout much of that campaign, which has prompted some noticeable changes to how his office handles his schedule. Specific locations for events are no longer included in his publicized daily itineraries, for example.
During the early days of the convoy protest in Ottawa in January and February, Trudeau and his family were evacuated from their home in the city for several days.
Other leaders, including NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet, have indicated they received RCMP protection during the convoy when they were in Ottawa.
An access to information request released by the Privy Council Office shows between Feb. 5 and March 23, 26 threats were logged against Trudeau and eight of his cabinet ministers. Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland were each the subject of nine threats during that period.
The nature of the threats or actions to investigate are not included in the release.
RCMP in B.C. said in a statement about Tuesday's event that the protest group started off small but grew in number and were joined by cars, larger trucks and vehicles towing trailers “travelling in a convoy-style loop around the roadway.”
“Due the size and composition of the protest group and for the safety of everyone in attendance, a decision was made that it was not safe for the prime minister to attend the location,” the RCMP statement said.
The government source who spoke to The Canadian Press said the fear was that Trudeau's presence would amp up the crowd and put everyone in attendance at greater risk.
The Prime Minister's Office and RCMP jointly made the decision to cancel Trudeau's in-person appearance, the source said.
Trudeau is not alone in being followed by more aggressive protesters. In Peterborough, Ont., two weeks ago, Singh was chased to his car outside a provincial NDP campaign office.
In Montreal Wednesday, Justice Minister David Lametti temporarily left a press conference outside his office when confronted by an anti-Israel protester yelling in his face. Lametti returned when the protester left.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 25, 2022.
- With files from Camille Bains in Vancouver and Mickey Djuric in Saskatoon
Vancouver Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
As NATO prepares to embark on the greatest overhaul of the alliance’s deterrence capabilities since the Cold War at a leaders’ summit in Spain, Canada’s role in the new defence strategy remains uncertain.
A Nexus card is supposed to help put low-risk Canadians on the fast track when crossing the U.S. border, but at least 330,000 Canadians aren’t sure when their applications will be processed.
Canada Day celebrations are making a return after two years of scaled-down festivities because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but some Canadians hoping to catch a traditional parade may be out of luck.
Six police officers are in hospital with gunshot wounds and two suspects have been killed following a shooting at a bank in Saanich, B.C., on Tuesday.
Witnesses recount what they saw after police officers engaged in a shooting with armed suspects at a bank in Saanich, B.C., on Tuesday morning. Two suspects are dead and six officers are in hospital with gunshot wounds.
The mastermind of an elaborate Ponzi scheme that cheated hundreds of people of tens of millions of dollars was sentenced Tuesday in a Barrie, Ont., courtroom. Charles Debono has been behind bars since his arrest in 2020 for his role in one of the largest Ponzi schemes in Canadian history.
Airbnb has codified a global policy that prohibits guests from hosting parties or events on all listed properties.
After five years in the role, John Horgan announced on Tuesday afternoon he plans to step down as premier of British Columbia and has asked his governing party, the NDP, to hold a leadership convention later this year.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia on Tuesday of becoming 'a terrorist' state carrying out 'daily terrorist acts' and urged Russia's expulsion from the United Nations.
"Officers initially detained the driver for impaired driving by alcohol, however their focus quickly diverted after noting that he was literally holding in his hands two bricks of suspected cocaine," said Nanaimo RCMP in a release Tuesday.
The premier of British Columbia has announced plans to step down, but will remain on the job until the provincial NDP can choose his successor.
Alberta Finance Minister Jason Nixon says the final number on the 2021-22 fiscal year, which ended on March 31, is a $3.9-billion surplus.
'Appreciation and gratitude': Toronto couple thank Calgary fire crew for treating and transporting daughter to hospital
A Toronto couple expressed appreciation and gratitude for the fire fighters who treated and transported their three-year-old daughter to Children's hospital over the weekend.
The Calgary Airport Authority and its partners are preparing for the busiest summer travel season since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parents of 2012 HUB Mall murder victim fear Supreme Court decision could lead to shorter sentence for son's killer
The Supreme Court of Canada struck down a law passed by the former Stephen Harper Conservatives that allows a judge to increase parole ineligibility periods for offenders who commit multiple murders. Now there’s fear it could mean sentence “discounts” for other mass murderers.
Edmonton is moving forward with a plan to improve snow and ice clearing on roads and sidewalks, but it could cost homeowners an extra three per cent in taxes over three years.
One person is dead after a crash north of Redwater on Tuesday.
A mother of three children is speaking out after spending a night on the floor of Toronto Pearson Airport with her young kids and six-month-old baby in a weekend of travel that she says cost her most than $1,000 in unexpected expenses.
A longtime Toronto legislator has been named interim leader of Ontario's New Democrats as the Official Opposition party gears up for a leadership contest.
What was supposed to be a fun weekend trip with friends to Arizona has turned into a nightmarish five-day, “suitcase scavenger hunt” for Toronto resident Jehaanara Kurji.
A coroner's report released Tuesday is calling on Quebec to teach new drivers to open their car doors with their right hand in order to prevent dooring incidents with cyclists.
A 26-year-old man has been ordered to undergo a mental health assessment after prosecutors allege he fatally stabbed his stepfather and seriously wounded three others this weekend. The victim was lawyer Raymond Hebert.
A multi-vehicle collision near Joliette has killed one person and sent several others to hospital, police say.
Two people were taken to hospital in critical condition late Tuesday afternoon after vehicle and scooter collided in St. Boniface.
A new invasive species in Clear Lake has Parks Canada taking steps to prevent damage to the aquatic ecosystem.
A program giving inmates a chance to get an education while serving time in Manitoba’s Stony Mountain Institution is looking to expand, according to the Correctional Service of Canada.
Saskatoon police say an investigation is ongoing, amidst a large police presence on Avenue J South between 21st and 22nd street west.
One of the longest-running measures of the pandemic was lifted during Monday's city council meeting.
Prairie Spirt School Division says it will struggle to cover inflationary costs such as gas in the coming school year.
The Government of Saskatchewan is gearing up for a joint COVID-19 booster and influenza vaccination program in the fall.
A new $60 million YWCA Centre for Women and Families was announced in Regina on Tuesday.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders are dealing with familiar territory after the loss of Shaq Evans due to injury.
A scathing letter from an RCMP communications manager released today says RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki referred to direct pressure from the federal public safety minister to release firearm details in the days after the Nova Scotia mass shooting.
Several workers are injured after part of a building under construction collapsed in Moncton, N.B., Tuesday morning.
The body of an 82-year-old woman who was reported missing from Sainte-Anne-de-Kent, N.B., has been found, according to RCMP in New Brunswick.
Huron County OPP are on scene of a serious single vehicle car crash southwest of Hensall
'A little bit dumbfounded': Family questions why siblings can’t be together at same French immersion school
With limited spaces in French immersion programs, the Thames Valley District School Board is finding itself having to remind families there’s not enough room for everyone.
OPP in Oxford County are investigating after human remains were found in Zorra Township.
On Tuesday, the federal government announced $2.6 million for improvements to taxiways, a runway and lighting at Sudbury's airport.
Five projects in North Bay are receiving money from the federal government through the New Horizons for Seniors Program.
A $2 million operation designed to help startup businesses in Sudbury has opened its doors. It’s being described as a hub for innovation, creative thinking and collaboration.
The family of a Black four-year-old who was removed from school by police has filed a lawsuit against the Waterloo Catholic District School Board seeking $1 million in damages for what they says is the board's discrimination and negligence.
Every morning, when Karli Chomick would drop her children Savanna and Ryder off at St. Timothy Catholic Elementary School in Kitchener, she would do the same thing: give them a hug and a kiss, then tell them to be kind.
Ira Needles Boulevard is closed between Highway 7/8 and Highview Drive.