Almost a year after controversially calling Western University “the Harvard of Canada” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was back in London to take one on one questions with Londoners. A cold, windy and rainy night didn’t stop thousands of people from lining up outside of Alumni Hall for a chance to see the leader of Canada. The hall was filled to capacity with mostly students from Western University but also all kinds of Londoners.
A few questions into the town hall a young boy asked the Prime Minister how he deals with his haters. Trudeau responded by saying “I think it starts with respect. Defending everyone’s rights means defending everyone’s rights to express themselves whether not you agree with them or not”
“I am strong enough in my own principals and values, in my own evaluation of who I am and where my strengths are and where my weaknesses are that I don’t really have to worry too much about feeling that I might be defined by what someone else thinks of me” – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
While still answering the young boy’s question a woman in the audience stood up and started yelling at Trudeau about rehabilitating ISIS fighters back into Canada and about m-103 which is a motion that was passed which calls on politicians to condemn Islamophobia. She asked the Prime Minister why he would have this event at a school instead of a community setting so “regular folk” can go, even though it was an event open to the public. After a few minutes of back and forth Trudeau showed once again that he’s capable of handling hecklers, by asking the crowd to give the woman a round of applause. She left shortly after that.
Later on in the night a man in the upper seating interrupted a young woman asking the Prime Minister a question, and started yelling at him about corruption, after a few minutes he sat back down. But a short time later he started yelling again and threw 2 stacks of paper forward, the 2nd stack hitting a man in the back of the head. At this point he was escorted out by security and RCMP, on his way out Prime Minister Trudeau told him if he’d stop shouting he wouldn’t be disturbing everyone in attendance, the man replied “You’re disturbing me” which drew a laugh from the crowd.
The overall tone of the event seemed to be equality and reconciliation. The event ended with Chief Randall Phillips of the Oneida First Nation telling Trudeau why he stood for each question involving Indigenous peoples “I wanted you to remember that you’re speaking about us, and to keep that in mind you don’t speak over us” Chief Phillips stood to hold the Prime Minister accountable to help Indigenous peoples in Canada.
At the very end Chippewas of the Thames First Nation Chief Myeengun Henry gave Canada’s Prime Minister an Eagle Feather which signifies they will work together.