Even at a paid Liberal fundraising dinner last night, Justin Trudeau can't escape the hecklers. This was the case at an event in Toronto last night when hecklers called out Trudeau over the situation at Grassy Narrows First Nation, where they have suffered from mercury poisoning. Hecklers aren't new for the Prime Minister but today Justin Trudeau is now apologizing for his snarky response to those indigenous protestors.
While Trudeau was speaking at his fundraising dinner last night, the hecklers began shouting at him asking what is he doing about the situation at Grassy Narrows, a First Nations community in Northern Ontario. There three generations of people have been affected by mercury poisoning after mercury was dumped into the water there in the 1960s and 1970s.
In response to these protestors, Justin Trudeau said "thank you very much for your donation tonight, I really appreciate your donation to the Liberal Party of Canada." The response earned applause from Liberal supporters in the room, but it led to backlash from many Canadians including those at Grassy Narrows.
A Twitter account associated with Grassy Narrows called @FreeGrassy tweeted that the Prime Minister's response to their protest was the smuggest thing they had ever heard.
"Thanks for your donation" - smugger words have never been said 🙄@JustinTrudeau is failing to help #GrassyNarrows, a key test of his 'commitment' to meaningful relationships with First Nations and to a healthy environment.#cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/vtFtPMSAZ4— Free Grassy (@FreeGrassy) March 27, 2019
They also said that Justin Trudeau was failing the people of Grassy Narrows and therefore also failing his commitment to First Nations people and also the environment in Canada.
Now, one day later Justin Trudeau has officially responded to the criticism and his response to the protest. He has apologized for his response and said he didn't treat the protestors with respect.
This morning at an event in Halifax, Trudeau told reporters "From time to time, I'm in situations when people are expressing concerns... I always try to engage with them in a positive way and I didn't do that last night."
Nonetheless, even since the apology came this morning, Canadians are still criticizing the Prime Minister about his response and handling of the Grassy Narrows situation.
Justin Trudeau has that same smile as that M*GA wearing teen when he removed the person advocating for Grassy Narrows.— jaye the destroyer (@jayesimpson94) March 28, 2019
Same smirk. Same condescending look.
Where's the apology from all your Liberal elitist pals who laughed and cheered when you mocked the brutal conditions the Grassy Narrows people are living with. You sir, are a disgrace.— Team Alberta (@TeamAlberta1) March 28, 2019
@JustinTrudeau is a disgrace, a coward, & a weak leader. He claims to care about Indigenous people but clearly does not. His actions speak louder than words. The Grassy Narrows community is suffering from mercury poisoning & Justin Trudeau responds with arrogance. #GrassyNarrows— 🌺 Ivy 🌺 (@IvyElizabeth98) March 28, 2019
Trudeau has also said that the Liberal Party will refund the donation that those people would have paid to get into the fundraisers, which is $1500 per person.