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Sunfest kicks off in London with a visit from Justin Trudeau

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the crowd during the official opening of Sunfest in Victoria Park in London, Ont., on Thursday.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the crowd during the official opening of Sunfest in Victoria Park in London, Ont., on Thursday. Andrew Lahodynskyj / The Canadian Press

What began with a Thursday morning stop in Montreal ended with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau travelling for an evening visit to London, Ontario.

Trudeau was on hand for the opening ceremony of the 25th annual Sunfest, a signature summertime festival in the city.

READ MORE: Trudeau to make appearance at London Sunfest on Thursday

Addressing the crowd just before 7:00 p.m., Trudeau’s remarks offered praise to the festival, as well as its founder, Alfredo Caxaj.

“Pulling together this extraordinary event, year after year, growing it to the incredible success that it is now, is the work of an incredible visionary in Alfredo, but it’s also the work of hundreds of volunteers who believe deeply in this,” Trudeau said.

“This festival showcases the best of London [and] the best of Canada in its diversity”

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Toward the tail end of his speech that lasted less than five minutes, the prime minister alluded to Canada’s upcoming federal election.

“As you look forward to these coming months, and think about the choice you’re going to make to build a better Canada, think about listening to each other and believing, always, that better is always possible,” Trudeau said.

Less than an hour later, Trudeau was spotted at the Delta Hotels by Marriott London Armouries on Dundas Street to address supporters at a Liberal fundraiser.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses supporters at a Liberal fundrasier in London, Ont.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses supporters at a Liberal fundrasier in London, Ont. Matthew Trevithick / 980 CFPL

“We know that the world isn’t always at its very best,” Trudeau said in his remarks to supporters.

“We saw that, unfortunately, a few weeks ago here when one of [London’s] mosques were vandalized.”
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READ MORE: Police investigating Islamophobic graffiti outside London Muslim Mosque

Further remarks saw the Prime Minister address what he saw as an increasing sense of division in politics, as well as his desire to see Canadians seek compromise.

“But that’s perhaps not the fashion of politics these days, where it’s much more easy to point extremes and differences,” Trudeau remarked. “Nobody waves a sign saying, ‘make a good compromise’.”

Trudeau’s visit did not go unnoticed by local members of the opposition.

During an appearance on the Craig Needles Show, Elgin-Middlesex-London Conservative MP Karen Vecchio told Global News Radio 980 CFPL of her concerns with the Prime Minister’s visit.

“We are a few months out from an election, so this is a political stop,” Vecchio said, adding that Thursday’s Liberal fundraising dinner asked attendees to pay $1,500 per plate.

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“People have called it ‘cash for access,’ and that’s exactly what it is.”

The Canadian federal election is slated to take place on or before Oct. 21, 2019.