You would normally expect, or at least hope, that the prime minister of Canada might make an urgent trip to Calgary after 11 churches were vandalized and one was set ablaze in under a week. It turns out Justin Trudeau did make the trip to Calgary this Wednesday, but he did not seem to find it worth his while to reach out to the Christians suffering persecution in the city — persecution which many on social media are suggesting has been stoked by his rhetoric, and the rhetoric of his state-funded broadcasters, in response to recent news about the residential school program.
An election is looming, and we all know that the Liberals have a history of campaigning before the election has officially been called, so perhaps that Trudeau was doing just that. So, did he visit a children’s hospital? A new library? A state-of-the-art research facility? No, we are thinking too conventionally.
What would Justin do?
Justin Trudeau started his visit by going to a door store. Yes, a door store. We learned that said door store, AAA Doors LTD., was one of the businesses that received COVID relief funds from the government. We managed to remain on location at this business for some time without incident, until the prime minister’s staff asked the property owner to ask us to leave. It was a very odd encounter, as the owner did not seem to mind us staying on the property at all until he was encouraged to. Calgary police agreed that the encounter was somewhat unusual.
All events throughout the day offered virtually no access to media. A few pre-selected individuals were the only ones afforded access to the media pools, a likely foreshadowing of the way Justin Trudeau’s reelection campaign will be conducted: opaque and controlled.
Justin’s next stop was a series of meetings at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel in downtown Calgary. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Mayor Naheed Nenshi both had hour-long blocks scheduled with the prime minister. We were escorted out of the media area by Trudeau’s people, but were still able to capture quite a bit of the action, of which there was plenty, as the afternoon carried on.
One of the most bizarre spectacles was a ridiculous ruse in which about 10 officers, including two mounted police, closed off a stretch of the sidewalk and a number of the vehicles from the prime minister’s caravan pulled up to the door, which waited there for about 20 minutes, before rapidly driving away without Justin having ever come out. Police were just as puzzled as the crowd of protesters when they learned that this had apparently all been a trick and Justin had snuck out a back door to avoid at most 20 protesters. The man really hates accountability and facing his opponents.
The final stop of the day was at a Calgary Transit train service station where Naheed Nenshi and Justin Trudeau were set to make a big announcement. Shockingly… we were denied access again. They announced funding for transit expansion, particularly the Green Line LRT extension project. This fit the day perfectly as it made very little sense, considering that this was already announced in 2015. We can only surmise that Nenshi and Kenney were simply attempting to reappropriate credit for the funding of the project to Mr. Trudeau.
Aside from one downtown stop, both of Justin Trudeau’s visit locations were within earshot of the Calgary Airport. It seemed that perhaps he was eager to get out of town. Considering his apparent aversion to Calgary, I suggest that next time he plans to come out, he can cut down on his carbon footprint and just stay in Ottawa. I suspect very few Calgarians would mind.