World

Trudeau Plagued By Gaffes During Town Hall Tour

REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cross-country town hall tour continues to be plagued by gaffes and moments of public outrage.

At Friday night’s session in London, Ontario, Trudeau was confronted by a military veteran who told him he has not received a pension check in six months, the CBC reported. “I’ve had to rely on my father to buy groceries and that is unacceptable,” said Joseph Angelini, who served in Afghanistan.

Trudeau did not call for any corrective action to the problem but said, “Thank you for your continued service to your country for pointing out things we are not doing well enough.” (RELATED: Trudeau May Have Broken Conflict Of Interest Law)

Earlier in the day, the prime minister enraged the energy industry and oil workers by suggesting – in an apparent gaffe or policy reversal — that the high profile and petroleum-rich Alberta oil sands project should be “phased out.” His office later suggested that there was no specific time-line for this process.

Earlier in the week during a celebrity protest actress Jane Fonda appeared to blame Trudeau for the massive petroleum tapping project, indicating her “disappointment” over what she characterized as Trudeau’s betrayal of his commitment to fighting climate change.

Trudeau has also been rocked by criticism for his plan to implement a carbon tax. The province of Ontario, which already has the highest hydro rates in North America, will be especially hard hit, as Kathy Katula told Trudeau.

Katula told Trudeau, “I feel like you have failed me, and I’m asking you today to fix that. My heat and hydro now cost me more than my mortgage.”

“I make $50,000 a year Mr. Trudeau and I am living in energy poverty,” Katula said with tears in her eyes.

“I’m asking you, Mr. Trudeau, how do you justify to a mother of four children, three grandchildren, with physical disabilities, and working up to 15 hours a day, how is it justified for you to ask me to pay a carbon tax when I only have $65 left in my pay check every two weeks to feed my family?” she asked.

At a news conference in Peterborough, Ontario, on Friday, Trudeau was asked by reporters if a carbon tax would stall economic recovery. He responded by saying “putting a price on carbon will promote growth and create jobs.”

Trudeau, who may have broken the federal Conflict of Interest Act when he vacationed with billionaire and Muslim spiritual leader the Aga Khan last Christmas, continues to deny the significance of the story.

He downplayed the growing scandal — dubbed Kahngate — by saying, “Canadians are talking to me about issues that are relevant to them.”

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