Trudeau says security threat won't change how he campaigns
OTTAWA – Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau on Sunday offered little in the way of new details about why he was forced to don a bulletproof vest at a crowded campaign rally in Mississauga, Ont. on Saturday night.
"My first concern was the safety of my family and all the Canadians in the room. This will not change at all how I campaign," said Trudeau, adding that he wouldn’t speak further on the matter.
The leader – wearing his staple button down shirt with rolled sleeves and no bulletproof vest – was in Toronto Sunday at a Thanksgiving food drive, shuffling canned foods from box to box, alongside Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri.
Trudeau did however speak to the rise of “polarization” during the campaign, pointing the finger at Conservatives for inspiring “falsehoods” and “fear.”
"We are seeing, unfortunately, an extremely high level of misinformation, disinformation online and people who are really trying to further polarize and make fearful Canadians. The reality is, the Conservative Party is continuing to spread falsehoods to Canadians, to scare them into voting for them or against us."
In an emailed response to CTVNews.ca, Conservative party spokesperson Simon Jeffries rejected Trudeau’s claim, stating his team has been “positively” sharing their plan to voters.
“We have also been reminding voters about Justin Trudeau’s record and explaining how he will continue to make life more expensive if re-elected,” he said.
On Saturday evening, Trudeau was an hour and a half delayed to the Mississauga rally due to the unspecified security threat.
Surrounded by a group of tactical officers wearing large backpacks, Trudeau shuffled his way through a crowd of about 2,000 supporters. His wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, was expected to introduce her husband but was not present on stage.
The Liberal party didn’t provide any further details after the rally about the information or events that led to increased security on Saturday and in an email to CTVNews.ca on Sunday, a spokesperson said they cannot comment on matters relating to the leader’s safety.
Trudeau’s rivals on the campaign trail have weighed in, offering sympathetic messages on Twitter and condemning any threats of violence against any leader.
The Conservative and Green camps took the day off for Thanksgiving festivities Sunday, while Trudeau and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh made campaign stops.
Singh spoke about Trudeau’s situation and the "divisive politics" at play in Canada.
"I want to let Canadians know you can have all sorts of opinions and it’s ok to disagree but there should never be fear from any leader from any party to feel like there's any threat to themselves."
He added that his campaign has not received direct threats and that he feels "safe" under the purview of the RCMP.