Trudeau defends retort to heckler who targeted wife: ‘He went after my family’

WARNING: This story contains language that may be offensive to some readers. Discretion is advised.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is standing behind comments he made to a protestor who directed a misogynistic slur at Trudeau’s wife, saying “he went after my family.”

As Trudeau prepared to sit down with Global BC’s Neetu Garcha outside the broadcaster’s Burnaby, B.C., station, protesters blasted music and hurled obscenities across the parking lot. The situation grew heated when a protester hollered at the Liberal leader about his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau.

Read more:
Trudeau to protesters: ‘Isn’t there a hospital you should be going to bother right now?’

The protestor made deeply offensive, misogynistic comments about Grégoire Trudeau, who was not present, and called her a gendered slur.

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“Where’s your wife? I heard she’s a w—-,” the protestor yelled.

“Where’s she at? Smell (inaudible) from here.”


A protestor heckles Trudeau. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick.


THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Trudeau listened for a moment, then pulled down his mask and raised his voice to make sure the protestor heard him.

“Isn’t there a hospital you should be going to bother right now?” Trudeau fired back.

He stood by the comment on Tuesday.

“I think Canadians know that I have pretty thick skin and I am able to take all sorts of different abuse, especially if it means that someone is not somewhere else hassling frontline health workers or vulnerable Canadians,” he said.

“But he went after my family, he said hateful, misogynistic things about my wife.”

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Click to play video: 'Trudeau tells off protester, asks ‘isn’t there a hospital you should be going to bother?’'



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Trudeau tells off protester, asks ‘isn’t there a hospital you should be going to bother?’


Trudeau tells off protester, asks ‘isn’t there a hospital you should be going to bother?’

Trudeau added that he knows he “signed up for this,” but that “everyone has limits.”

“My family believes deeply in what I’m doing and put up with an awful lot, but everyone has limits and I will always I will always be there to try and push back when someone crosses these lines,” he said.

In his retort to the protestor, Trudeau was referring to the anti-vaccine protests that took place outside hospitals on Monday. The demonstrations forced patients and healthcare workers alike to pass through the crowds of the unvaccinated, and in some instances, prevented paramedics from safely passing through.

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Trudeau slammed the protests on Monday, promising that if he’s re-elected as prime minister, he’d criminalize these demonstrations that block healthcare services, harass healthcare workers and intimidate patients.

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“It’s not right that the people tasked with keeping us safe and alive during this pandemic should be exposed to hatred, violence, fear and intimidation,” said Trudeau during a Monday campaign stop in Vancouver.


Click to play video: 'Canada election: Singh says Trudeau ‘shouldn’t have been joking’ about heckler protesting at hospital'



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Canada election: Singh says Trudeau ‘shouldn’t have been joking’ about heckler protesting at hospital


Canada election: Singh says Trudeau ‘shouldn’t have been joking’ about heckler protesting at hospital

However, Trudeau’s clapback was met with some criticism from his opponents. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said that Trudeau “shouldn’t have been joking” about the heckler protesting a hospital.

Both Singh and Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole have condemned Monday’s protests, with Singh promising to ensure protections for healthcare workers and to criminalize blocking access to health care.

Trudeau has been dogged by mobs of angry protestors throughout his campaign. One of those protests grew especially heated as Trudeau left an event in London, Ont., on Labour Day. As protesters jeered Trudeau, who was flanked by media, a man picked up gravel and threw it at both Trudeau and the journalists.

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Click to play video: 'COVID-19: O’Toole calls planned demonstrations at hospitals ‘completely unacceptable’'



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COVID-19: O’Toole calls planned demonstrations at hospitals ‘completely unacceptable’


COVID-19: O’Toole calls planned demonstrations at hospitals ‘completely unacceptable’

While no injuries were reported, Shane Marshall, 25, was charged with one count of assault with a weapon. Marshall was the president of the PPC Elgin Middlesex London riding association. He was removed from his position after the incident.

Trudeau spoke out against the angry protestors on Tuesday, insisting that “anti-vaxxer mobs” would not stop him from campaigning in person this election.

“Nobody should be doing their jobs under the threats of violence or acts to put them in danger. That’s absolutely unacceptable,” he said.

— with files from Global News’ Amanda Connolly, Sean Boynton

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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