January 10, 2018 8:20 pm

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tackles range of issues during Hamilton town hall

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's town hall tour continued in Hamilton on Wednesday.

Ken Mann/CHML

At McMaster University’s Burridge Gymnasium, 1,900 people gathered to take part in a question-and-answer session with the prime minister.

Justin Trudeau addressed a wide range of topics during the town hall meeting in Hamilton.

Trudeau pointed to a “public health and public safety” rationale when asked why his government is moving to legalize marijuana.

He suggested that regulating cannabis and “treating it more like alcohol” will reduce underage consumption while “ending the close-to-$6-billion-a-year that flows into criminal organizations’ pockets through the sale of illicit marijuana.”

READ MORE: Trudeau asked how it feels to be first PM to ‘commit a crime’ at town hall

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Trudeau said increasing the number of women and visible minorities in leadership roles is “the right thing to do and the smart thing to do,” when asked about his government’s view on a lack of women in key private sector industrial positions.

Trudeau was also asked about his own eventual legacy, to which he said he’d like to think that it will involve “empowering Canadians to be more active and engaged in shaping their communities and their country.”

The prime minister also dealt with two hecklers during the 90-minute question-and-answer session.

One young woman yelled out her criticism of the federal government’s $10-million payment to Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr.

Trudeau received a standing ovation after describing it as a lesson about not allowing a Canadian, “no matter how unpopular they may be, to be tortured.”

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2010 that Khadr’s charter rights were violated while being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He was imprisoned after his capture in Afghanistan, where he was charged with throwing the grenade that killed an American soldier.

The second heckler walked out of Wednesday’s town hall meeting after shouting out about a need for respect for Indigenous communities.

READ MORE: Is there sufficient security at Justin Trudeau town hall meetings?

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