TOUGH QUES­TIONS: TRUDEAU GRILLED AT TOWN HALL MEET­ING

Trudeau taken to task over im­mi­gra­tion, trade, Saudi arms deal in Regina

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY RYAN MCKENNA

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau faced blunt ques­tions from peo­ple at a town hall in Regina in­clud­ing one from a man who fears Canada’s im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies are putting lives at risk.

The man told Trudeau that Canada’s policy threat­ens free­dom, that Is­lam and Chris­tian­ity don’t mix and sug­gested that some im­mi­grants want to kill Cana­di­ans. It was met with a cho­rus of boos from the nearly 1,000 peo­ple in at­ten­dance.

“They have openly stated that they want to kill us, and you are let­ting them in,” the man said Thurs­day at the meet­ing held at the Uni­ver­sity of Regina.

Trudeau seemed taken aback, but an­swered that Cana­di­ans can have con­fi­dence in the sys­tem. He said im­mi­grants help bol­ster the econ­omy and make com­mu­ni­ties more re­silient.

“Sir...How am I go­ing to go on this one,” Trudeau replied. “Canada is a coun­try that was built on im­mi­gra­tion.”

An­other man chided the prime min­is­ter for sign­ing the new trade agree­ment with the United States.

Court­land Klein, 38, who works at the Evraz steel fab­ri­ca­tion plant in Regina, said the fed­eral gov­ern­ment should have walked away from the deal be­cause of U.S. tar­iffs on steel and alu­minum.

Trudeau said that wasn’t pos­si­ble.

“I know here that steel and alu­minum are ex­traor­di­nar­ily im­por­tant, but so are agri­cul­tural ex­ports, so are the bil­lions of dol­lars worth of trade that ev­ery part of the coun­try does with the United States - our most im­por­tant mar­ket ev­ery sin­gle day,” Trudeau said.

Klein, who was wear­ing a “I love pipe­lines” T-shirt, said af­ter­wards that he had friends out­side protest­ing against the car­bon tax and for the con­struc­tion of pipe­lines.

Some pro­test­ers held signs with slo­gans such as “Canada Needs Pipe­line Jobs” and sev­eral trac­tor-trail­ers honked their horns as Trudeau started the event.

Klein has worked at Evraz for 15 years and said his whole fam­ily works in the oil and gas in­dus­try. He’s con­cerned with the choices Trudeau is mak­ing.

“He’s mak­ing de­ci­sions that are go­ing to cost me and my friends their jobs,” Klein said.

The prime min­is­ter was also chal­lenged on the car­bon tax, which has been met with stiff re­sis­tance in the prov­ince.

Saskatchewan is ask­ing its Court of Ap­peal to rule on whether Ot­tawa’s plan to im­pose the tax on the prov­ince is con­sti­tu­tional. The case is to be heard in Fe­bru­ary.

Ja­son LeBlanc from Este­van, Sask., asked Trudeau why he will have to pay the car­bon tax.

Trudeau re­sponded by say­ing peo­ple will have the choice in this fall’s fed­eral elec­tion to choose whether they want to be part of cre­at­ing a solution to cli­mate change.

“Or do you want to hide your head in the sand and pre­tend that there is no prob­lem we have to deal with?” he said.

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau speaks dur­ing a town hall at Uni­ver­sity of Regina in Regina, Saskatchewan on Thurs­day.

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