Far-left Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau encountered a group of protesters who denounced him as a “tyrant” and a “traitor” while attending a Liberal Party cabinet retreat in Hamilton, Ontario, on Tuesday night.
Trudeau and his hefty security escort seemed surprised by the size and intensity of the protest outside Jackson Square Plaza in Hamilton. The protest did not appear to be highly organized, but its members were united in their disapproval of Trudeau’s authoritarian actions during the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, especially the measures he took to crush the “Freedom Convoy” trucker protests of early 2022.
One protester carried a flag reading “We Love the Fringe,” a direct reference to Trudeau’s January 2022 dismissal of the Freedom Convoy as a “fringe minority of people.” Others had paraphernalia such as a giant inflatable sheep wearing a facemask and the legend “99.8% Survival Rate,” which criticized Canada’s response to the pandemic as excessive.
Many of the demonstrators imitated techniques used by the Freedom Convoy demonstrators, such as honking car horns and wrapping themselves in Canadian flags. They accused Trudeau of tyranny and treason, often with a dash of profanity, and demanded his resignation.
“Trudeau, you f**king asshole. You’re a monster. You’re destroying this country. You have blood on your hands,” one woman yelled at the prime minister.
Trudeau was dismissive of the protesters, insisting that “a handful of angry people do not define what Hamilton is, or what democracy is in this country.”
“It’s really, really important in our democracy that people can express their disagreement or displeasure or even anger with various governments. At the same time, our police services and institutions will ensure that those protests remain peaceful and law-abiding. That’s something that really matters,” he said.
Global News on Wednesday described “harassment and threats against public figures” as a “growing problem across Canada,” providing a few other examples:
Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino warned over the summer that the growing frequency of harassment against Canadian public figures poses a “threat to democracy” that needs to be taken seriously.
In late August, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland was cornered outside an elevator in Grande Prairie, Alta., as a man hurled profanities at her while voicing his opposition to COVID-19 health measures.
In June, Mendicino revealed that Canadian members of Parliament will be getting panic buttons amid a rise in death threats, intimidation and verbal harassment.
Trudeau said he would not curtail his own public appearances to avoid angry protests.
“On the contrary, I’m continuing to be out there to meet with Canadians, to talk with them about their concerns. And I will continue to do that. Staying connected, particularly after the tough years of the pandemic, where we all had to change the way we were doing things, remains really important,” he said.
Some of the anxiety among Liberal Party members described by the Global News was due to ominous forecasts of economic turbulence and a “more severe recession” in the year ahead, which would be contrary to optimistic growth predictions from Trudeau’s administration, potentially increasing the pool of unhappy citizens shouting profanities at officials.
The Western Standard noted on Wednesday that “groups of Canadians displeased with the federal government” were already heckling the Liberal Party retreat in Hamilton before Trudeau arrived, and other Liberal officials have encountered angry crowds.
In fact, one reason some Canadian publications were able to describe the crowd that confronted Trudeau as “small” was that his security team, well aware of the demonstrations in Hamilton, pulled off a decoy maneuver that fooled most of the protesters into thinking Trudeau would use the rear exit from the restaurant he was dining in, when he actually departed through the front door.
The Western Standard quoted Hamilton police officials who said the demonstrators remained peaceful and dispersed by 11:00 p.m, with no arrests made.