Justin Trudeau was scared last night — and not just when I startled him at the door of his campaign bus. Getting Trudeau out of the Montreal debate venue without answering a single "unaccredited" question was a complex affair.
Trudeau's main bus (he has two, just like his plane situation) was parked outside the south entrance, idling for hours. Naturally, David Menzies and I waited by that door for Trudeau to wrap up, so we could ask a question or two.
Over the course of the debate, no less that eight officers handled, pushed, and interrogated me outside. Two undercover RCMP officers actually demanded to see my "journalism license," and conducted an illegal search of my bag (while ignoring the gaggle of Extinction Rebellion activists nearby, dressed all in black). It was clear the officers were not looking for bombs or weapons — instead, the police were sniffing out PUQ (Possible Unauthorized Questions).
As the debate wrapped up, and Trudeau was ready to leave, his bus drove around the block, stopping at various doors. Menzies and I ran to keep up, and eventually the bus settled outside of the trash door in the cargo loading area. That is where Trudeau's staff decided to smuggle him out.
Trudeau was so scared, so worried about being held accountable, that he shirked the literal red carpet set up for him out front. His bus circled the venue over and over to minimize PUQ and throw a veil of confusion over the journalists outside.
Oh, and even after Trudeau scurried away, the police literally followed David and me for blocks. Like we were in Cuba or Iran or something:
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