SURREY: What started as a protest by a small group outside Aria Banquet Hall gates during Justin Trudeau’s visit to Surrey this week, took shape of a monster. Concerns about PM’s safety led to canceling of his in-person attendance to a fundraiser.
Several media reports appeared that PM Trudeau was in Surrey to attend a Liberal party fundraising dinner on Tuesday, May 24 evening. However, Surrey RCMP informed that at approximately 4:40 p.m. there was a small group of protestors outside of the banquet hall gates.
“The number of protestors continued to grow in size and included with the protest were several cars, larger trucks, and vehicles towing trailers that were travelling in a convoy style loop around the roadway,” said Cpl. Vanessa Munn, Surrey RCMP.
Due to the size and composition of the protest group and for the safety of everyone in attendance, a decision was made that it was not safe for the Prime Minister to attend the location, Munn informed.
Police remained on site to ensure the safety of all parties involved. Munn said the police could not disclose whose decision it was to cancel PM’s participation. “For security reasons, the RCMP doesn’t comment on specifics when it comes to security measures afforded to the Prime Minister,” she said.
Trudeau did not enter the building and spoke to a crowd for about three minutes by Zoom instead of making a speech in person. He said no one should be intimidated or stopped from exercising their democratic freedoms because that’s what this country is all about.Trudeau said he would return to see his supporters in Surrey in the future.
Apart from being disappointed for not meeting PM in person, the attendees of the event expressed their concern for the racial slur that was hurled on them by the protestors.
Two speakers at the fundraiser told The Canadian Press that dozens of protesters were yelling racial slurs at mostly South Asian attendees entering the convention centre.