Sudbury

Trudeau calls out 'anti-vaxxers' for putting kids at risk as campaign event is disrupted by protesters

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau made an election campaign stop Tuesday at the University of Sudbury, located on the grounds of Laurentian University, and during his visit pushed back against about two dozen protesters who were disrupting the event, saying "they're wrong" for opposing COVID-19 vaccinations.

Liberal leader visits Laurentian campus, but doesn't address Ontario university's money problems

Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau made an election campaign stop in Sudbury on Tuesday, telling an event at the University of Sudbury that 'Canadians made incredible sacrifices over the past year and a half.' (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau made an election campaign stop Tuesday at the University of Sudbury, located on the grounds of Laurentian University, and during his visit pushed back against about two dozen protesters who were disrupting the event, saying "they're wrong" for opposing COVID-19 vaccinations.

"The folks out there shouting — the anti-vaxxers — they're wrong." Trudeau said.

"They are putting at risk their own kids, and they're putting at risk our kids as well."

Trudeau told the crowd that a Liberal federal government would work with provinces and territories that want to create vaccination certification or vaccination passports for those who have been immunized against COVID-19, "so that everyone can be safe.

"Canadians made incredible sacrifices over the past year and a half."

The Liberal leader has been plagued by protesters at recent campaign stops ahead of the Sept. 20 election — last week, an event in Bolton had to be cancelled for security reasons.

But he's refused to back down on his vaccination stand, and reiterated that message Tuesday, saying:  "People are willing to do their part to get through this pandemic and that's what we will do together."

Trudeau's stop was at the University of Sudbury, which was until recently one of Laurentian's federated universities. Laurentian declared financial insolvency on Feb. 1, and has had to severely cut programs and staff as it works through the restructuring under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act. During that process, it also unilaterally cut ties with its three federated universities. 

His visit comes three days after a campaign stop by NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who criticized the Liberal government for not doing more to support Laurentian. 

In his address to media, Singh made a commitment to immediately remove the interest on federal student loans if elected.

During his event Tuesday, Trudeau said the Liberals would protect minority language communities and ensure strong francophone post-secondary institutions.

He said his party would invest $80 million per year for post-secondary institutions serving linguistic minorities across Canada. 

The Liberal leader was also in the northern Ontario city to throw his support behind the two local Liberal candidates:

  • Marc Serré, the incumbent for Nickel Belt.
  • Viviane Lapointe, the candidate for the Sudbury riding.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story said Trudeau's event was held at Laurentian University. In fact, it was at the University of Sudbury.
    Sep 01, 2021 10:24 AM ET

With files from Sarah MacMillan

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