The Prime Minister greets forest industry families during a special visit to the Forest Discovery Centre in Duncan Aug. 4. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Justin Trudeau gets warm welcome at BC Forest Discovery Centre

“I just wanted to say what a pleasure it is to be here today with all of you.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thrilled a largely supportive crowd at the BC Forest Discovery Centre in Duncan on Saturday afternoon.

Some protesters greeted his motorcade as Trudeau pulled up with his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau and their children, but inside the protest was drowned out by applause from the excited crowd that had congregated to meet the prime minister.

“I just wanted to say what a pleasure it is to be here today with all of you,” Trudeau said to the crowd. “Obviously the B.C. forest industry is a really important one, it leads to great jobs for all your families, and communities right across the Island and B.C. I know you’ve faced some challenging times in the past and there’s ongoing challenging times with out neighbours to the south, but I also want you to know that we have your back. We will continue to support workers in the forestry industry, we will continue to support workers right across this country. We have your back and I’m really excited to be here today.”

First Trudeau greeted some forestry workers and their families, then recieved a short tour of the FDC from longtime volunteer Roland Brown as he walked down to where a forestry obstacle course was set up for children (this is Kid’s Weekend at the Centre) where his son tried out the activity.

Trudeau shook hands and spoke with many of those who had gathered to get a glimpse of the prime minister, stopping to take numerous photos with members of the crowd.

He then took a few moments and answered a number of questions from the press about immigration, the Trans Mountain Pipeline, national security and North Korea and supply management and NAFTA talks.

“There are people out there who still think there is a choice to be made between what’s good for the environment and good for the economy. I don’t,” Trudeau said in response to a question about the protests he faced at the Forest Discovery Centre and elsewhere in B.C. over the buying of the Trans Mountain Pipeline. “The only way to build a strong economy moving forward is to protect the environment, and ensuring that we are protecting the environment for future generations is deep priority of mine.”

The national plan to fight climate change is all about that, he said, as is the oceans protection plan.

“It also includes getting our resources to markets other than the United States,” he said of building a strong economy. “Most Canadians know…that we need sustainable jobs into the future, we need to move towards a lower carbon economy, but we can’t get there quite yet, we can’t get there tomorrow.”

On supply management and NAFTA, Trudeau said it’s clear that the U.S. is targeting the sector, demanding elimination.

“I can tell you here today, as I have been saying for months if not years, we will protect supply management,” Trudeau said. “It’s a system that works for our farmers, it’s a system that works for our consumers. The challenges they’re facing in the United States are due to a massive oversupply of milk which is not a problem that we have in our supply managed sectors. We can’t pretend there a global free market in agriculture; the U.S. subsidizes to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars every year their milk farmers, we don’t subsidize our milk farmers in the supply management sector. We are able to have a system that works for our famers, for our consumers and protects the quality of Canadian supply managed products…I will continue to stand up for supply management at the NAFTA table and anywhere else I need to.”

 

Prime Minister Trudeau says he is also concerned about the continuity of B.C.’s forest industry. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

The PM takes time out to talk with some boys during his Duncan visit. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Prime Minister Trudeau takes a few minutes during his Forest Discovery Centre visit in Duncan to talk to North Cowichan Councillors Tom Walker and Maeve Maguire while Centre manager Chris Gale looks on. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

It’s a special moment when you get to shake hands with a Prime Minister. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Trudeau takes time out for photos with many of the families at the Centre for Kids Day. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Just Posted

Behnsen’s hopes dashed to become North Cowichan Mayor

Former councillor grateful for the voter support she received

Cowichan students drop everything and read

Local schools participate in DEAR Challenge

Duncan’s postal workers join national strike

Rotating 24-hour stikes expected to hit four locations each day

Siebring prevails in close vote for mayor of North Cowichan over Lefebure

A mere 10 votes separates the two Chemainus men in a nailbiter

Lynne Smith humbled by mandate given to her by Saltair/Thetis voters

New Area G director looking forward to the challenge and representing her community well

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

VIDEO: Fire destroys historic small-town B.C. restaurant

Two people were injured as fire ripped through the Hedley restaurant around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday

B.C. town’s mayoral race a tie, come down to luck of the draw

Harry Gough led incumbent Cindy Fortin by one vote on election night Saturday

Outdoor retailer MEC vows to boost diversity after online complaint

Mountain Equipment Co-op was criticized for perpetuating a white-only picture of the outdoors

Trump vilifies caravan, says he’ll cut Central American aid

Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the Guatemala-Mexico border, about 5,000 Central American migrants resumed their advance toward the U.S. border Sunday in southern Mexico.

Federal carbon tax rebates will exceed the cost for most people affected

Officials say 70 per cent of people in those provinces will get back more than they end up paying out as fuel costs rise to incorporate the carbon tax.

Rotating strike in Toronto will have ‘significant impact,’ says Canada Post

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities.

Cancelling Saudi Arabia arms deal would cost $1 billion: Trudeau

Canada has added its voice to global calls for answers, with Trudeau telling the CBC in an interview today that the Saudi government’s explanation of what happened lacks credibility.

Former B.C. sheriff caught in sex-related sting pleads guilty to lesser charge

Kevin Johnston will be sentenced on Nov. 6 for his role in communicating online with a person posing as a 14-year-old girl.

Most Read