Plenty to protest as Trudeau comes to Halifax (again)

The Liberal Party hosts its national convention this week at the Halifax Convention Centre.

Prime minister Justin Trudeau addresses the crowd gathered at Sackville High School during his last visit to Halifax. - VIA INSTAGRAM
Prime minister Justin Trudeau addresses the crowd gathered at Sackville High School during his last visit to Halifax.

From pipelines to airstrikes, Justin Trudeau will arrive in Halifax later this week still dealing with the fallout from a week of controversial political decisions.

The prime minister will join hundreds of other Party faithful attending the Liberal's national convention, which takes place Thursday through Saturday at the newly opened and already burdensome Halifax Convention Centre.

Trudeau will arrive just days after pledging his support for both the American-led airstrikes in Syria and the contentious Trans Mountain pipeline.

“This is something Canadians expect us to do and quite frankly international investors who look at creating jobs in Canada want to see us able to do,” Trudeau told reporters last week about the $7.4-billion pipeline extension, calling its construction a part of the “national interest.”

Aside from costing hundreds of millions of dollars in public money to pump out even more fossil fuels, Kinder Morgan's pipeline baby has also met strong opposition from Indigenous communities in British Columbia's Lower Mainland, who contend the federal government failed in its duty to consult and get approval from First Nations for the pipeline that will run through their land.

“It is completely unfathomable to me that a company that is not within Canada has dictated an ultimatum and a timeline for Canada to knowingly and willingly run over the rights of First Nations people,” Union of BC Indian Chiefs Bob Chamberlin tells the CBC.

The government's strong support for Trans Mountain—against the wishes of First Nations—has ignited new waves of protest against the pipeline and Trudeau's history of broken promises to Indigenous communities.

Closer to home, environmental advocates in Nova Scotia have already voiced concern about BP's offshore drilling. Trudeau could also once again find himself facing questions about the deportation threat faced by former child refugee Abdoul Abdi.

Of course, any protests about those issues will only happen outside the Convention Centre. Inside, the Liberals will be voting on new policy resolutions and preparing the Party for the next federal election.

There will also be a walking tour of the former Africville lands.

Guest speakers for the national convention include CNN political correspondent and former Barack Obama senior advisor David Axelrod, Liberal Party president Anna Gainey and local warm-up act Andy Fillmore.

More information can be found here.

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