Justin Trudeau waded through crowds of eager supporters at the Halifax Seaport Market Saturday morning on his first visit to the city since becoming prime minister.
Trudeau walked in to the venue to the sound of applause and fiddle music. He then spent about 45 minutes meeting vendors, shaking hands and posing for countless photos and selfies.
Jillian Brown, 11, and her 17-year-old sister Haley were among those were able to squeeze in for a photo. The sisters say they are big fans of the prime minister and had been looking forward to meeting him.
“Well he seemed like such a good hearted person and my parents always tell me how great he is,” Jillian said.
“We love what he’s doing and the refugees and everything,” Haley said.
“I think he’s probably based on what we’ve learned in class at least, one of the best prime ministers we’ve ever had.”
On any given Saturday morning, the market is a bustling place filled with shoppers and vendors. The crowd surrounding Trudeau was especially large and security was tight.
“I think he was really down to earth. He was friendly. He was just a really, nice guy all around,” said Adam Mills, who works at the Elmridge Farm kiosk.
“Everything here is local so he was happy to hear how everything here is local and we’re growing just out in the Valley.”
After his visit, Trudeau paid a visit to the Nova Scotia Liberal Party annual general meeting, where he made an address to a packed room at the Westin Hotel.
“My Nova Scotia friends, it’s so great to be back here with you,” Trudeau said.
He thanked the party faithful for their support in the last federal election and encouraged them to reflect on how they have achieved success.
He went on to list some of his government’s achievements over the past several months, including re-opening the veterans office in Sydney.
“Right now across Atlantic Canada, we have Liberal government at both the provincial and federal levels. It’s an unprecedented opportunity to advance our shared values and bring real positive change to the lives of all Atlantic Canadians,” Trudeau said.
The prime minister will be meeting privately with Premier Stephen McNeil Saturday afternoon at the AGM.
“(We will be) talking about the many ways our two governments can cooperate to provide services to Nova Scotians and the role the national government can play in that. We’ll talk obviously about the commitments that were in the budget around broadband, the investments on innovation,” McNeil said.
“Of course I’ll raise the issue of the hospital and the infrastructure around that.”
McNeil says he is optimistic talks will go well since the prime minister has shown a willingness to collaborate with the province.