Trudeau greeted candidates and residents at the venue before continuing on the campaign trail for his next stop in Peterborough.
After Liberal candidates Patty Hajdu for Thunder Bay-Superior North and Marcus Powlowski for Thunder Bay-Rainy River rallied the crowd, Trudeau made his way to the podium, stopping for cellphone photographs, handshakes and high-fives.
While at the event, Global News caught up with the Liberal candidates for Barrie–Innisfil and Barrie–Springwater–Oro-Medonte.
Brian Kalliecharan, Barrie–Springwater–Oro-Medonte’s Liberal candidate, said the campaign has been exciting so far.
All the reasons I didnt want to write about Trudeaus blackface scandal
“It has been extremely exciting, motivating and inspiring, especially with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau coming and showing his support and championing Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte.”
Lisa-Marie Wilson, Barrie–Innisfil’s Liberal candidate, said the campaign has been positive so far.
“The best part that I like is going to the doors because at the doors is where I get to meet the people and listen to them and get their feedback.”
“People Need To Look At What Weve Done” Trudeau Responds to Criticism In Barrie 360 Exclusive Interview – Barrie 360
“They have invested a lot here, but there’s still so much more we that we could do,” Wilson said. “[For] Barrie and Innisfil, there’s so many people that have come up here from the GTA. The population has doubled since I first arrived here.”
Really, why would it? He’s been playing some role or another ever since he was elected. At least he didn’t black his face up when he was on that infamous Mr. Dressup trip to India a while back. But the mindset was the same: the world is just a stage, that no matter what antics he gets up to, no matter whom he might insult, there will be no real, permanent repercussions.
Both Barrie–Innisfil and Barrie–Springwater–Oro-Medonte are relatively new ridings – they formed in 2015, and both voted Conservative in the last election.
“Barrie is very diverse now – it’s not the same community it was in the last election or even before that. It keeps growing exponentially,” Wilson said.
Now, I’ve seen this type before — rich kids from elite families who were bred with that impervious confidence due to instinctively knowing that whatever trouble they might get into then mom and dad’s money along with their position in society would ensure no mud stuck for long.
The two candidates also spoke about the recent scandal that involved Trudeau wearing racist makeup on three separate occasions.
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“As a visible minority, I have experienced racism,” Kalliecharan said. “I’m not blind to tell you it doesn’t exist. What I can tell you is that the values of our Prime Minister – he’s grown, he’s authentic, he’s real. He has done so much for diversity, for building up our culture that the person he is today is a leader we need for this country to continue growing.”
Wilson said the incidents happened “a long time ago” and that “we all make mistakes.”
“We all grow and evolve – hopefully – and mature, and learn from those things. Justin Trudeau isn’t the same man 20 years ago as he is now,” Wilson said.
“He was genuine in his apology. He understands the nuances of it more than he probably did back then, like microaggressions, all of those things, and white privilege.”
“For me, it deflected from what really matters, what Canadians really need to vote on, the issues that they need to vote on.”
After Barrie, Trudeau stopped in Peterborough. Meanwhile, Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May were both in Montreal on Thursday, while NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was in B.C.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau is promising to overhaul Indigenous health care if his party forms another government in the upcoming federal election.
During a campaign rally at Thunder Bay's Lakehead University on Wednesday for the two local Liberal candidates, Trudeau told the crowd that a government led by him would enact new legislation that would offer "high-quality health care" for all Indigenous people.
The health care would be "distinction-based," he said — meaning it would be designed to meet the unique needs of each Indigenous group. Trudeau said the legislation would be co-developed with First Nations, Métis and Inuit governments.
The announcement was one of two Indigenous policy moves raised by Trudeau in Thunder Bay. The second focused on infrastructure.
"We will co-develop and invest in distinctions-based community infrastructure plans," Trudeau said during his stump speech.
"Together, we will address critical infrastructure needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities by 2030. This will mean more housing, better roads, high-speed Internet and new treatment centres and schools."
The speech didn't include any further details about these initiatives — such as how they would be financed.
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