Manitoba

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's visit to Winnipeg draws protesters

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be greeted by dozens of protesters in Winnipeg on Saturday when he attends the Liberal Biennial Convention where 2,500 members of the Liberal party have been gathering since Thursday.

Marijuana advocates among group of protesters waiting to greet Prime Minister

Justin Trudeau may not be welcomed with love when he arrives at the Liberal Biennial Convention in Winnipeg on Saturday. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be greeted by protesters in Winnipeg on Saturday when he attends the Liberal Biennial Convention where 2,500 members of the Liberal Party have been gathering since Thursday.

Trudeau will be a keynote speaker at the event and is scheduled to address his supporters at 12:15 p.m CT.  

Winnipeg marijuana advocate Steven Stairs will be among a group of protesters marching in front of the RBC Convention Centre waiting for the prime minister to arrive.

Stairs said he invited dozens of activists from the cannabis community across Canada to come to Winnipeg and lobby the Trudeau government to follow through on its promise to legalize and regulate marijuana.

"They're not holding their end of the bargain," Stairs said.

"Yeah they were elected, yeah they have a majority, but they have to keep the public happy. If they're not going to commit to the policies that they were elected on, then we need to make them aware that the public isn't going to stand for it."

Stairs said while the Liberal government has taken some steps to legalize pot, there hasn't been enough action.

"We still have dispensary owners being arrested for possession, we still have people losing their homes, their jobs... based on a plant, when the prime minister knows he can quickly decriminalize marijuana," he said.

Other protesters are also hoping to get the prime minister's attention when he arrives.

Emily Lavender, a campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) will be protesting outside of the event along with another member wearing a seal costume.

PETA is calling on Trudeau to end the commercial seal hunt in Canada.

Lavender said the organization is still waiting to hear the prime minister's stance on the controversial issue.

"Pamela Anderson actually wrote Trudeau on behalf of us asking to meet with him to discuss the commercial seal slaughter and didn't receive a response back, so we've sent our seal out there to tail him around," Lavender said. 

Emily Lavendar, a campaigner for PETA will be protesting with a seal mascot hoping to get Prime Minister Trudeau's attention. (submittted)
Lavender said she and her seal mascot have been following Trudeau on visits to Washington, New York and cities across Canada.

"We're calling on the prime minister to put an end to what the last administration wouldn't, and put an end to this completely unnecessary violence once and for all," she said.

A protest is also being planned by the national human rights group Independent Jewish Voices at 1:00 p.m.

The organization will be joined by members of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid and Canada-Palestine Support Network.