Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was greeted by a loud mix of cheers and jeers during a brief election campaign stop in Cobourg, Ont., on Monday evening.
Outside the Black Cat bakery/coffee shop, Trudeau bumped elbows with a dozen supporters on the patio itself while several hundred other spectators lined along Division Street and the sidewalk, sporting a mix of Liberal Party signage and anti-lockdown messages.
Northumberland—Peterborough South Liberal candidate Alison Lester introduced Trudeau amid a loud chorus of applause and boos. Lester thanked Trudeau for his strength and vision and for “providing a future for my kids.”
“I think Canadians are with you and I can’t wait to go to the polls and tell them that,” Lester said.
The Conservatives won the riding in the 2019 federal election after Philip Lawrence defeated Liberal incumbent Kim Rudd. Lawrence is seeking re-election. The NDP and Green Party of Canada are expected to announce their candidates next week for the Sept. 20 federal election.
“Thank-you Alison for stepping up. That’s been the story of this past year — Canadians stepping up in an incredibly difficult time,” Trudeau told the crowd. “This year has been difficult, but people have had each others’ backs. They were there for each other.
“Canadians stepped up time and time again across the country. They’re stepping up to get vaccinated to keep each other safe and that’s how we get through it,” he said.
Trudeau said Lester, a lawyer and small business owner, will be “an extraordinary voice for this community” while also thanking Rudd for her contributions after serving as MP from 2015-2019.
“Thank you Kim for your leadership. You left big steps for Alison to follow.”
Trudeau concluded his two-minute, 45-second speech by encouraging people to “listen to each other.”
“You may have noticed tonight that there are people with different perspectives on how we need to move forward as a country,” he said. “And that is one of the strengths of this country — that in these difficult moments, we listen to each other.
“We lean on each other and we build a better future for all of us. And that’s what we get called upon to do right now.
“Those of you who don’t think we should be encouraging people to get vaccinated, who don’t think we should be stepping up to help each other, you have your opportunity to make your voices heard. But you know what? So do all of us other Canadians who know the road through this is to get vaccinated. To get through this is to be there for each other.”
Trudeau then departed onto his campaign bus which was briefly blocked by one protester. Municipal police and RCMP officers lead the man off the road.