Prime Minister Trudeau was in Duncan Saturday, as he wrapped up a family summer vacation in Tofino.
He first made a surprise stop at the Duncan Farmers’ Market, and then made a visit to the B.C. Forest Discovery Centre.
The visit was aimed so that the Prime Minister could meet workers from local forestry businesses, and meet with other locals.
The crowd greeted Trudeau with cheers as he arrived around 2:30 p.m., although one individual chanted “shame”.
“The B.C. Forestry Industry is a really important one, leads to great jobs to all you families and communities right across the Island, and right across B.C.,” said Trudeau.
“I know you face some challenging times in the past, and there is ongoing challenges times with the neighbors to the south, but I also want you to know that we have your back,”
The forestry industry has been suffering under recent U.S. tariffs. Last week, the American government said tariffs on uncoated groundwood paper are justified, but lowered them to just over twenty per-cent.
Immigration, U.S. targetting of the Canadian supply management system, Trans Mountain Pipeline and his time in Tofino all came up during his meeting with reporters.
Trudeau was also asked about a movement while he was spending time up in Tofino, that asked businesses to refuse him service.
“I have been spending time in Tofino since I was 12-years-old,” said Trudeau. “I can say that as always the reception in Tofino, the folks there, were absolutely wonderful, welcoming.”
The Friends of Clayoquot Sound, a non-profit environmental group in Tofino, sent a letter to the local Tofino Chamber of Commerce saying that “Businesses can even deny goods and services to Trudeau, and workers can refuse to serve Trudeau in the political activist tradition of non-cooperation.”
The letter cites many reasons, such as saying that the prime minister “force[d] a pipeline across unceded Indigenous territories”
When questioned about the opposition he faces in some places regarding the recently purchased Trans Mountain pipeline Trudeau backed his government’s decision.
“There are people out there who still think there is a choice to be made between what’s good for the environment and good for the economy, I dont,” said Trudeau.
“The only way to build a strong economy moving forward is by protecting the environment and ensuring we are protecting the environment for future generations, is a deep priority,”
“[Our strategy] includes a national plan on climate change to price pollution… it also includes us getting our resources to market’s other than the United States… our government has invested over a billion-and-a-half dollars in a historic oceans protection plan that partners with indigenous people along this coast.”
Following the visit, Trudeau left for the mainland to make an appearance at the Richmond Night Market.