trudeau cobourg

Tensions flare at Justin Trudeau's campaign stop near Toronto

Just days after dissolving parliament and announcing a snap election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has hit the campaign trail, during which he and his fellow candidates will have only 36 days to appeal to constituents before they head to the polls on Sept. 20.

But it seems that Trudeau's public appearances have not kicked off all that well, with some palpable tension and confrontation at his Coburg, Ontario, stop on Monday.

While talking to a crowd of hundreds in the town just shy of two hours east of Toronto, the PM was repeatedly heckled, called a traitor and told to resign.

His speech — largely about the pandemic — was met with a mix of both boos and cheers while those gathered in front of the Black Cat bakery and coffee shop clashed with one another, clearly divided over numerous political and COVID-related issues, including, based on footage from the scene, masking and vaccination.

As a CBC journalist at the rally noted on Twitter, "the presence or absence of a face mask was a sign of what side of the issue people were on," with seemingly just as many people showing up to denounce Trudeau as to support him.

Some even brought megaphones to get their feelings about the leader across, while others carried Liberal party signs.

A few bystanders stated on social media that some present appeared to be Proud Boys types and were sporting MAGA hats, though this is unconfirmed.

Others noted that the PM has not received the warmest welcome at a few stops so far, namely in Napanee and Aurora, Ontario.

"Now you may have noticed tonight that there are people with different perspectives on how we need to move forward as a country," Trudeau said to point out the division at the Coburg event.

"That is one of the strengths of this country, that in these difficult moments we listen to each other, we lean on each other and we build a better future for all of us."

Whatever your feelings on the current Liberal leadership, be sure to get out to the advance polls, vote by mail, or have your say in-person on election day, which is now in less than five short weeks.

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