Manitoba

Justin Trudeau called 'scumbag' while touting federal child-care plan in Winnipeg

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was interrupted by a camcorder-wielding heckler who called him a "scumbag" during a stop in Winnipeg to promote the Liberal government's $7-billion plan to create more child-care spaces.

Prime minister provided no new details about government's spending plan for daycares

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chats with children at the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg daycare on Wednesday. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

Justin Trudeau was interrupted by a camcorder-wielding heckler who called the prime minister a "scumbag" during a stop in Winnipeg to promote the Liberal government's $7-billion plan to create more child-care spaces.

Trudeau was speaking Wednesday at the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg daycare on Fermor Avenue about the child-care plan, which is part of the latest federal budget.

Staff from the Prime Minister's Office said the heckler gained entry to the event claiming to be a member of the "world alternative media."

He carried a camcorder as he heckled Trudeau about the carbon tax while the prime minister answered other questions.

"Shame on you and your globalist counterparts," the man said as security kept a close eye on him.

"You're scumbags. You are an absolute scumbag."

Security eventually led the man out of the room.

A group of children from the daycare who met with Trudeau before he spoke to reporters was not in the room at the time of the confrontation.

The same man has posted online videos of him confronting other politicians, including former Manitoba premier Greg Selinger.

A man claiming to be a member of the "world alternative media" interrupts Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's news conference in Winnipeg. 0:27

Trudeau did not release any new information on Wednesday about his child-care plan, which he said aims to make it more affordable for parents to return to work.

"These are the kinds of things that we need to do to ensure that every family has the opportunity to make the choices that are right for them," he told reporters.

"Whether it's going back to school, whether it's looking for a new job, knowing that your kids are in the right hands, getting the support they need in early learning and child care — like we see right here at the Y — is a really important initiative for all of us."

No specifics on Manitoba numbers

The federal budget released last week includes support for more child-care spaces across Canada over 10 years starting in the 2018-19 fiscal year, adding 40,000 subsidized child-care spaces over the next three years.

Trudeau did not give specific details on how many of those 40,000 spaces will be created in Manitoba, but he said officials will discuss the plan with provincial governments.

"We recognize that child care is [a] provincial-led area, and that's why we're going to sit down and work with the provinces to best reflect their needs in supporting low- and modest-income families with affordable child-care spaces," he said.

Trudeau took questions about Britain's impending divorce from the European Union, asylum seekers crossing the border in Manitoba and security concerns at Montreal's Trudeau airport. He was also questioned about Manitoba's reluctance to sign a health-care funding agreement with the federal government, making it the last holdout province. Trudeau would only say he's hopeful Manitoba will sign on.

Trudeau's next stop on Wednesday is Saskatoon, where he will visit Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

Association seeks more details

Pat Wege, executive director of the Manitoba Child Care Association, said she had hoped to see more province-specific details from the prime minister.

"Multi-year funding is excellent news, but our provincial government is keen to move forward on child care and needs more information from the federal government before it can make its own decisions for how to invest federal dollars to best serve Manitoba families," Wege said in a statement before Trudeau's event.

After the federal budget was tabled, Wege said she doubted the $7-billion investment would be enough to "kick-start" Canadian child care.

She said that when the 40,000 spots are distributed across the country, Manitoba would likely get fewer than the 15,000 spaces it needs. Last summer, 14,872 children were on a wait-list for daycare spots in the province.

With files from The Canadian Press

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