Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau got rockstar treatment in Prince Edward Island Tuesday as he walked the streets of Charlottetown, glad-handing with locals and tourists.
Trudeau is in P.E.I. for national Liberal caucus meetings, which get underway Wednesday at the Rodd Brudenell River Resort.
As he walked down Queen Street in Charlottetown Tuesday, he was thronged by national reporters and cameras, which in turn attracted crowds of curious locals and tourists. It created quite a clamour on the normally quiet sidewalks of the downtown capital.
Most of those he came upon gave the young leader positive feedback, telling him they believe he is doing a good job, many also saying they had once met his father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau.
Many asked to pose for photographs with him and some asked for his autograph.
But a few local residents raised their concerns over government policies and social programs.
“I find it terribly unfair that as a disabled person living just above the poverty line, I still owe income tax,” Liz Murnaghan told Trudeau.
“How unfair is that?”
Trudeau responded by telling her he believed disabled Canadians should be offered more opportunities and programs.
John MacDonald raised his concerns over the closure of the district office of Veterans Affairs in Charlottetown.
“There’s hundreds of veterans on P.E.I. without a district office. It needs to be opened up again,” MacDonald said.
“Mike Duffy said we can stand in line at Service Canada (offices), but we’ve got a lot of guys with a lot of problems, so we don’t want to stand in line at Service Canada.”
MacDonald was referencing a news conference Duffy held last summer on behalf of the Harper government, announcing that all Service Canada locations on P.E.I. would also become district offices for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
At the mention of the now-embattled P.E.I. senator’s name, Trudeau smiled and shook his head.
“This government has consistently been cutting down services that Canadians have accessible to them, whether it’s for veterans, and how this government continues to treat, or mistreat, veterans is a real shame,” Trudeau responded to MacDonald.
Trudeau also took questions from reporters about his controversial proposal to legalize marijuana and about the crisis unfolding in Syria.
... More on this story throughout the day, full details in the print and e-editions of The Guardian tomorrow.