APTN National News
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Winnipeg Thursday as part of his town hall tour across Canada.
Trudeau fielded questions from the crowd about various topics including health care, the refuge crisis and Donald Trump’s leadership.
However, things quickly heated up when one member of the public asked about the federal government’s recent pipeline approvals.
A handful of people in the crowd then stood up in protest holding ‘Water is Life’ signs.
Trudeau attempted to answer the question, “I’ve said from the very beginning in election campaigns and over the past year, one of the fundamental responsibilities of any government is to understand that there is no longer a choice to be made between the economy and the environment.”
He was abruptly interrupted halfway through his answer by several people shouting from all sides of the crowd.
Things soon got tense when Trudeau became agitated.
“I think people want to hear the end of my question on why we’re building pipelines in this country…,” he said.
At one point during the heated conversation an elder addressed the protesters.
“Thank you PM. I am an elder from Treaty 1 territory. Our treaties allow you people on our territories. I’m asking that you people that are making statements please respect everybody, please respect our territories,” said the elder.
Eventually the Trudeau finished his response.
Shortly after, members of the Youth ICT committee, a sector from the First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba, questioned Trudeau on the rash of suicides on First Nations.
Trudeau responded by saying the government has set up crisis phone lines and invested millions by sending crisis response teams to those communities.
One member of the Youth ICT committee said he hopes the suicide crisis will be addressed quickly, but knows it will take time.
“I think it’s going to be a slow process because people want something so fast. It takes patience because we want to solidify and make sure we’re OK in the long-term,” the youth said.
The town hall marks the last scheduled with no word on whether there will be additional dates added.