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'He went after my family': Trudeau defends reaction to heckler

'Canadians know that I have a pretty thick skin, but he went after my family,' says Justin Trudeau

Barry Ellsworth   | 14.09.2021
'He went after my family': Trudeau defends reaction to heckler

TRENTON, Canada 

Canadian Prime Minister on Tuesday justified his reaction to a heated exchange with a heckler by saying the man attacked his family.

"Canadians know that I have a pretty thick skin, but he went after my family," Trudeau told reporters.

The exchange occurred in Vancouver where Trudeau was to do a television interview concerning the Canadian federal election. Voting day is Sept. 20 and polls show the two main parties – Trudeau's governing Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives led by Erin O'Toole – in a dead heat.

The protestor started hurling profanities when Trudeau said if reelected he would make it a criminal offense for protesters to threaten hospital workers or patients or block hospital access as has happened recently. Anti-vaccine protesters held small demonstrations at hospitals Monday in a few major Canadians cities, including Vancouver and Toronto, but forewarned by police the demonstrations were this time peaceful.

The heckler called Trudeau a communist and looked as though he was begging the prime minister to fight. Then he made remarks about Sophie, the prime minister's spouse, who was not present.

Trudeau responded by satirically asking the protester: "Isn't there a hospital you should go and bother right now?

"He said hateful, misogynistic things about my wife," Trudeau said in defending his reaction. "...I am able to take all sorts of different abuse, especially if it means that someone is not somewhere else hassling front-line health workers or vulnerable Canadians.

"But he went after my family."

The media did not report what specifically the protester said.

On the election front, pollster Nick Nanos said the latest data released Tuesday shows the Liberals and Conservatives "gripped in a tie," with the Liberals at 32.3% and the Conservatives 31.2%.

The poll, conducted for CTV News by Nanos Research, is done each evening with a new group of 400 voters.

Another poll released Tuesday by the firm Leger, conducted in partnership with the Canadian Press, had virtually the same result for the two leading parties.

The Nanos poll showed the New Democrat Party a distant third at 18.9%.

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