Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had to adapt his appearance at an event in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday night after protesters started harassing attendees.
Two speakers at the fundraiser told The Canadian Press that dozens of protesters were yelling racial slurs at mostly South Asian attendees entering the convention centre.
Trudeau did not end up entering the building and chose to speak to the crowd via Zoom.
Trudeau did not say why specifically he chose to appear at the Surrey, B.C., fundraiser virtually rather than in person but it is at least the second time in less than 10 months that he changed his plans in the presence of unruly protests.
He did say no one should be intimidated or stopped from exercising their democratic freedoms “because that’s what this country is all about.”
Trudeau then promised to return to Surrey in the future and speak to his supporters then.
The Liberal Party said in a statement to The Canadian Press that everyone participating “in our democracy should feel safe and respected.”
About four dozen protesters used expletives as they chanted against Trudeau and honked horns outside the convention centre.
“We don’t like the way he’s running Canada,” one man said as another spoke through a megaphone.
One protester carried a noose attached to two flat sticks printed with the words “treason” and “Trudeau.”
About half a dozen RCMP officers stood by watching the crowd.
An aggressive anti-Israel protester confronted Justice Minister David Lametti in Montreal today, forcing Lametti to temporarily leave his news conference.
Two weeks ago, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was harassed by protesters and aggressively chased into his car outside a provincial NDP campaign office in Peterborough, Ont.
— with files from The Canadian Press
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article stated Trudeau cancelled the event when in fact he spoke to the crowd over Zoom instead.