Canada Members of far-right Storm Alliance attend Trudeau's town hall in Quebec City

15:37  19 january  2018
15:37  19 january  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau swings into Quebec City for the second leg of his cross-country town hall tour, fielding questions on the state of Canada' s immigration system and how to combat racism as members of a far - right group look on.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau swung into Quebec City for the second leg of his cross-country town hall tour Thursday, fielding questions on the state of Canada' s immigration system and how to combat racism as members of a far - right group looked on.

Members of far-right Storm Alliance attend Trudeau's town hall in Quebec City© Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press Members of far-right Storm Alliance attend Trudeau's town hall in Quebec City Prime Minister Justin Trudeau swung into Quebec City for the second leg of his cross-country town hall tour as he looks to meet with Canadians ahead of Parliament's return later this month.

Also 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.

Members of the group have staged a series of protests across Quebec in recent months against the Liberal government's immigration policies, raising concerns about an influx of Muslims.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau swings into Quebec City for the second leg of his cross-country town hall tour, fielding questions on the state of Canada' s immigration system and how to combat racism as members of a far - right group look on.

Members of far - right Storm Alliance attend Trudeau ' s town hall in Quebec City . Trudeau ' s town hall tour has already seen him host events in the Halifax suburb of Lower Sackville, N.S., as well as London, Ont., Hamilton and Quebec City .

Storm Alliance, and other far-right groups, have said the federal government is too tolerant of the cultural practices of minorities and that they consider multiculturalism to be "collective suicide."

Roughly seven members of the RCMP stood between the Storm Alliance, who positioned themselves at the back of the room, and other members of the audience who sat around the prime minister.

Dave Tregget, the group's leader, was seen snapping a selfie before the event began. The group wore black hoodies with the initials "SA" on their chests and matching toques.

Trudeau was briefly interrupted by a heckler — the same man who had also disrupted, and was removed from, Trudeau's event in London, Ont. last week. He unfurled a Canadian flag that was defaced with Nazi symbolism and the words "evil empire" and "fig leaf."

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Hundreds of people — including many from far - right groups La Meute and Storm Alliance — protest on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Feb. 18, 2018. Members of far - right Storm Alliance attend Trudeau ' s town hall in Quebec City .

Trudeau ' s town hall tour has already seen him host events in the Halifax suburb of Lower Sackville, N.S., as well as London, Ont., Hamilton, Quebec City and Winnipeg. Members of far - right Storm Alliance attend Trudeau ' s town hall in Quebec City .

The man was quickly escorted out of the room by police officers. There was no apparent connection between the disruption and Storm Alliance.

Trudeau, tongue planted firmly in cheek, said "Nice to see you again," as the man was hauled off.

Questions on Phoenix pay system, electoral reform

Halfway through the event, the prime minister fielded a question from a Syrian refugee, who came to Canada under the Liberal government's resettlement program. While grateful to be in his new country, the man said he strongly opposes the country's embrace of medical-assistance in dying. Other questioners asked about local issues, including repairs to the Pont de Quebec and layoffs at the Davie Shipyard.

Other questions were similar to those asked at stops in English Canada, including pleas for the prime minister to do more to help immigrants with foreign credentials find work in their field in Canada.

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Between 300 and 400 members of far - right groups, including La Meute and Storm Alliance , marched in the rain to a convention centre that was hosting a major policy meeting of the governing Quebec Liberal party.

Another questioner, a public servant at Environment and Climate Change Canada, asked the prime minister to do more to help fix the disastrous Phoenix pay system that has mangled the paychques of tens of thousands of federal government workers. Trudeau said the former Conservative government was to blame for the system's sorry state, but pledged more money to resolve the nearly two-year old problem.

The prime minister was also forced to defend his record on electoral reform. Trudeau said he couldn't agree to a proportional representation system — one of his key campaign promises in 2015 — as he feared it would be bad the for the country, fostering small, one-issue parties on the federal scene who would wield too much power to the detriment of big tent, national parties.

Trudeau embarked on a similar tour last year in an effort to leave the "Ottawa bubble" — a nickname often assigned to the parliamentary precinct that is populated by politicians, the media, lobbyists and other stakeholder groups — and hear what concerns regular Canadians as the Liberal government readies for the last two years of its mandate.

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Cabinet ministers mingled with students and other members of the audience in the packed auditorium. Outside, a long queue of people, who began lining up at 1 p.m. ET, waited in the rain hoping for a seat. Trudeau ' s next town hall will be in Quebec City on Jan.

While Liberal organizers have touted the event as a chance to talk about the economy, a friendly subject for the prime minister as Canada enjoys a booming economy with low unemployment rates not seen in a generation, questions have been wide-ranging including a number about Indigenous affairs, the $10.5 million payment to Omar Khadr, concerns about the state of Canada's immigration system, and how best to support women in the workforce.

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The events have been interrupted by hecklers, some concerned about the Khadr payment, with others worried about the passage of M-103, a non-binding motion passed by the Commons last year that condemns Islamophobia, and the return of ISIS fighters.

Trudeau made a stop in Quebec last year — in the bilingual Eastern Townships — but he answered only nine French questions. Quebec City is overwhelmingly francophone and typically returns federalist politicians; it is an area where the Liberals made major inroads in the last election to the detriment of the Conservatives and NDP.

Trudeau will also make stops in Winnipeg and Edmonton later this month before parliament's return on Jan. 29.

Muslims worry that support has ‘fizzled out’ since Quebec City mosque shooting .
Brian Semple never leaves his Quebec City home to pray at the mosque without his cell phone.Before, the tour guide and hospital orderly said, there was a risk—a risk that he would forget to silence the device, that it would ring out in the middle of prayers.Now, one year after the shooting that killed six men and injured five others at the Grande mosquée de Québec, Semple says the perceived risk is much greater.“A cell phone has 9-1-1,” he said. “Another thing is that I had never thought about who’s coming in the door. Now I do.

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