Volunteer confronts Trudeau over holding up Ottawa sandbag efforts for ‘photo-op’

CBC | Politics News

A volunteer confronted Justin Trudeau for visiting a flood zone near Ottawa on Saturday, accusing the prime minister of holding up the line while people were filling sandbags as the region grapples with rising floodwaters.

Trudeau was in the Ottawa-Gatineau area to be briefed by emergency management officials and help with sandbagging efforts after heavy rain caused water to rise to dangerous levels.

Trudeau had worked with his son to fill sandbags and then took photos with some troops in Constance Bay, Ont., on the Ottawa River.

Then a man who identified himself as a volunteer voiced his frustrations with Trudeau, dismissing his presence as a “photo-op” and blaming the prime minister’s security for long waits for people looking to obtain sandbags.

“You know how long you’ve held up people picking up bags?” the man asked Trudeau. “I’ve been waiting in line down the road for 30 minutes while you’ve been here soaking up the rays.”

“While you’re here, no one can pick up sand,” he continued. “You held people up, all the RCMP and security held people up.”

Trudeau responded to the volunteer by saying he understand the “frustrations with security” that accompanies the prime minister wherever he goes, and that his aim was to encourage more Canadians to volunteer.

The prime minister’s executive assistant, Philip Proulx, said on Twitter that the RCMP said “no trucks had been blocked” due to the Trudeau’s visit.  

In an email, the RCMP confirmed to CBC News that a police motorcade for Trudeau “did not cause any delays during today’s visit.”

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