Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau made a campaign stop at the Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery in Barrie on Thursday afternoon.
Trudeau greeted candidates and residents at the venue before continuing on the campaign trail for his next stop in Peterborough.
While at the event, Global News caught up with the Liberal candidates for Barrie–Innisfil and Barrie–Springwater–Oro-Medonte.
Brian Kalliecharan, Barrie–Springwater–Oro-Medonte’s Liberal candidate, said the campaign has been exciting so far.
“It has been extremely exciting, motivating and inspiring, especially with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau coming and showing his support and championing Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte.”
Lisa-Marie Wilson, Barrie–Innisfil’s Liberal candidate, said the campaign has been positive so far.
“The best part that I like is going to the doors because at the doors is where I get to meet the people and listen to them and get their feedback.”
According to Wilson, affordable housing and transit are big issues locally.
“They have invested a lot here, but there’s still so much more we that we could do,” Wilson said. “ Barrie and Innisfil, there’s so many people that have come up here from the GTA. The population has doubled since I first arrived here.”
Both Barrie–Innisfil and Barrie–Springwater–Oro-Medonte are relatively new ridings – they formed in 2015, and both voted Conservative in the last election.
“Barrie is very diverse now – it’s not the same community it was in the last election or even before that. It keeps growing exponentially,” Wilson said.
The two candidates also spoke about the recent scandal that involved Trudeau wearing racist makeup on three separate occasions.
“As a visible minority, I have experienced racism,” Kalliecharan said. “I’m not blind to tell you it doesn’t exist. What I can tell you is that the values of our Prime Minister – he’s grown, he’s authentic, he’s real. He has done so much for diversity, for building up our culture that the person he is today is a leader we need for this country to continue growing.”
Wilson said the incidents happened “a long time ago” and that “we all make mistakes.”
“We all grow and evolve – hopefully – and mature, and learn from those things. Justin Trudeau isn’t the same man 20 years ago as he is now,” Wilson said.
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“He was genuine in his apology. He understands the nuances of it more than he probably did back then, like microaggressions, all of those things, and white privilege.”
Wilson said for her, the incident deflected from the real issues at hand.
“For me, it deflected from what really matters, what Canadians really need to vote on, the issues that they need to vote on.”
After Barrie, Trudeau stopped in Peterborough. Meanwhile, Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May were both in Montreal on Thursday, while NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was in B.C.
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