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Canada Trudeau dons his Teflon suit at town hall meetings: opinion

01:07  12 january  2018
01:07  12 january  2018 Source:   thestar.com

Trudeau begins town hall series tonight

  Trudeau begins town hall series tonight Trudeau begins town hall series tonightHe will hold a public town hall at Sackville High School in the Halifax suburb of Lower Sackville starting at 7 p.m.

Justin Trudeau told an Ontario town hall meeting that he shares the “anger” of many Canadians over the government’s settlement with Omar Khadr. He is donning his Teflon suit once again.

Trudeau dons his Teflon suit at town hall meetings : opinion . Similar from the Web. Trudeau faces difficult questions at town hall in Halifax area - www.theglobeandmail.com.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Prime Minster Justin Trudeau is mobbed by spectators looking for a selfie as he leaves a town hall meeting at McMaster University in Hamilton on Wednesday.© Barry Gray Prime Minster Justin Trudeau is mobbed by spectators looking for a selfie as he leaves a town hall meeting at McMaster University in Hamilton on Wednesday. When we’re feeling a little lost, a bit off-kilter, we all like to retreat to our comfort zone.

Justin Trudeau is doing just that this week.

He is donning his Teflon suit once again.

The Prime Minister staggered to the new year, it would seem, convicted of a serious ethics violation, shielding a finance minister who was trying to dig out of his own hole, taking it on the chin about unrequited trade.

Trudeau faces difficult questions in Halifax

  Trudeau faces difficult questions in Halifax HALIFAX - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced difficult questions from the crowd at a town hall in the Halifax area tonight, including from a member of the navy who has ALS and from the mother of a boy with severe autism. A man with ALS who identified himself as the father of two young children and a member of the navy asked Trudeau why he doesn't have the right to try experimental drugs to fight his terminal illness. Trudeau noted during the question-and-answer session a school gym in a the Halifax suburb of Lower Sackville that the process of approving such drugs needs to be rigorous and based on science.

Officials at the Prime Minister’s Office or with the RCMP wouldn’t comment on the level of security at the town hall meetings , but experts say that the light presence of visible security is in line with previous security details. WATCH: Are Trudeau ’s Town Halls good for his government?

Opinion . Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a spirited defence of his decision to approve the Kinder Morgan pipeline during the final — and at times rowdy — town hall meeting of his cross-country tour today in Nanaimo, B.C.

Or so it seemed in the so-called Ottawa bubble, the snow globe I called home for many years.

Maybe only the bubble denizens thought the Prime Minister was a little lost.

So, as he hits the halfway point in a cross-country town hall tour, Trudeau reminds those who pack these events that it’s “easy to get sucked into the Ottawa-centric’’ bubble around Parliament.

He calls these town halls a grounding exercise.

More accurately, it is an exercise in getting out of Dodge to rebuild your image.

This is how Trudeau was elected Prime Minister. He was out meeting voters before the 2015 writ was issued rather than standing in the corner of the Commons firing questions to a government on message track.

The fact is, Trudeau is not a stellar performer in the Commons.

Trudeau laughs off Aga Khan controversy

  Trudeau laughs off Aga Khan controversy Trudeau laughs off Aga Khan controversyIn Hamilton for the second of a series of cross-country question-and-answer sessions with Canadians, Trudeau made the crack during a radio interview with K-Lite FM hosts Sunni Genesco and Matt Hayes, who were broadcasting from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

The first came when Trudeau was trying to answer a question from a young boy who asked how he deals with his "haters." "I don 't really have to worry too much about The town hall was the third in a series of six such meetings , and came as Trudeau holds a two-day retreat for his cabinet in the area.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau 's town hall meeting in Nanaimo today generated plenty of fireworks. It was mainly because of his government's support for Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project, which is despised by many living on Canada's West Coast.

But he is good in the town hall format and he should receive much credit for ensuring questions were not vetted — unlike the slick, partisan events put on by Stephen Harper as Mike Duffy lobbed him softballs — and dealing easily with hecklers.

But at this week’s session at McMaster University in Hamilton, no one asked him about the holiday with the Aga Khan, though he was asked a day earlier in Nova Scotia. No one asked him why his MPs voted against him appearing before the Parliamentary ethics committee. No one asked him about trade with China, or the future of NAFTA. No one asked him about Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s foibles or insults from Minister of Persons with Disabilities Kent Hehr.

No one was allowed to ask a follow up. And, unlike the daily question period, Trudeau could take as long as he wanted in response, rhapsodizing about diversity and equality and freedom of speech as long as he wished.

Liberals push 'proven plan' for economy as Trudeau holds cabinet retreat in London, Ont.

  Liberals push 'proven plan' for economy as Trudeau holds cabinet retreat in London, Ont. Liberals push 'proven plan' for economy as Trudeau holds cabinet retreat in London, Ont. , Thursday, taking stock of what remains on the Liberal checklist as he looks ahead to the next election.Government sources told CBC News that ministers are acutely aware the clock is ticking to 2019 and plan to drive a message to Canadians that strong numbers and high consumer confidence are signs Liberal policies are working.A spokesperson for the prime minister said continuing the plan to create jobs and grow the economy in all parts of the country is at the top of the cabinet agenda.

It is his show, his sweet spot, and it must gall the opposition that he is still treated like a celebrity in those settings.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer would likely only get a viral clip from a town hall if he fell off the stage.

That doesn’t mean there weren’t perceptive questions for Trudeau.

One man asked him why, as a champion of Indigenous reconciliation, he did not acknowledge the traditional territories of Hamilton (Haudenosaunee and Mohawk).

Another asked how Trudeau could protect Canadians from returned ISIS fighters when he didn’t even take proper security precautions for his Hamilton event.

But even in an event that promises spontaneity, there are rules.

Make sure to have a lot of diverse faces behind you for the cameras.

Take a breather every now and again. Call on the guy sporting the Liberal button and invite the Grade 5 student to ask a question. Charming, but a nice break.

He was asked if he believed in freedom of speech and what his legacy might be. It beats having questions shouted at him in a media scrum.

Trudeau, like all successful politicians, shines when handling hecklers.

Scheer accuses Trudeau of 'imposing' values on abortion with summer jobs grants

  Scheer accuses Trudeau of 'imposing' values on abortion with summer jobs grants Scheer accuses Trudeau of 'imposing' values on abortion with summer jobs grantsOn Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a town hall in Hamilton that groups are welcome to apply for the Canada Summer Jobs program, but if those groups infringe upon a woman's right to choose, "that's where … we draw the line as a country.

Brian Mulroney often fought his way past angry demonstrators to enter an event, responding with a smile and his baritone, “ah, I’ll put you down as undecided.”

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh received international attention and praise by preaching love and tolerance to a racist heckler right in his face.

An alternative approach? Jean Chrétien famously delivered the “Shawinigan handshake” to a protester at a Flag Day event, grabbing him by the neck.

It worked for Chrétien.

Trudeau won a standing ovation in dealing with a heckler’s diatribe about the Omar Khadr payout and it won him this front-page headline in the Hamilton Spectator: “Prime Minister is a chip off the old Trudeaumania.’’

So far, the Teflon suit fits well.

But there is a reason we vote for men and women and place them in that bubble.

They must be accountable to Parliament and they should be required to take questions from Parliamentarians on their misconduct.

Trudeau can revel in his town hall love this week, but he should have sat and taken questions from Ottawa’s ethics committee.

And when Parliament returns, he won’t be fielding any questions about his legacy.

Tim Harper writes on national affairs. tjharper77@gmail.com, Twitter: @nutgraf1

Members of far-right Storm Alliance attend Trudeau's town hall in Quebec City .
Members of far-right Storm Alliance attend Trudeau's town hall in Quebec CityAlso in the crowd Thursday night were about 10 members of the far-right Storm Alliance — a group that identifies as "ultranationalist" but which claims to eschew ties to far-right white nationalists.

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