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Trudeau backs out of Caribbean trip last minute due to pipeline protests

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cancelled his trip to Barbados less than 24 hours before he was scheduled to fly to the Caribbean.
Graeme Gordon Montreal, QC

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has cancelled his trip to the Caribbean after receiving backlash online on Sunday after it was reported he was still planning to go on the trip, despite Canadian cargo and passenger trains being shut down for the greater part of two weeks.

The Canadian Press reported Sunday afternoon Trudeau was still intending to go on the trip to the Caribbean, so it appears Trudeau backed out last minute.

The Prime Minister’s Office released a press release Sunday evening, less than 24 hours before his flight was supposed to take off to Barbados.

The PMO stated that Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne will go to represent Canada instead.

Trudeau was planning to continue his world tour to try and secure Canada a seat at the United Nations Security Council.

Last week Trudeau was in Africa and Europe trying to drum up support from foreign countries for the UN vote on who will get the seat. The prime minister was criticized throughout the week, including when he indicated Canada would be willing to help develop an African country’s oil and gas sector at the same time Canadian protesters are trying to shut down parts of Alberta’s oil and gas industry. Trudeau was also criticized roundly for shaking and bowing to Iran’s foreign minister a month after the country shot down a plane killing 57 Canadians and for not returning home sooner as the #ShutDownCanada protests continued to go on unabated.

Grocery, agriculture, retail sectors have all been affected by the protests. Some major cities also receive their chlorine for water treatment from CN Rail trains, which could mean drinking water in major cities may run out. Other cities rely on getting their propane to heat homes from trains.

Via Rail predicts over 83,000 passengers were affected and over 400 trains trips were cancelled due to the protest blockades over the past two weeks.

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Graeme Gordon
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