Justin Trudeau hit by small stones thrown by protesters

The Canadian Prime Minister has faced pushback over his response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

canadas-liberal-prime-minister-justin-trudeau-makes-an-announcement-inside-the-sunwing-airlines-hangar-during-his-election-campaign-tour-in-mississauga-ontario-canada-september-3-2021-reutersca Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pictured during his election campaign tour in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, on Friday. Reuters / Carlos Osorio/Alamy Stock Photo Reuters / Carlos Osorio/Alamy Stock Photo / Carlos Osorio/Alamy Stock Photo

CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER Justin Trudeau has been hit by small stones thrown by protesters during a campaign stop in Ontario.

Trudeau was returning to his campaign bus after visiting a brewery when gravel was thrown at him. He was not injured during the incident, BBC News reports.

According to Annie Bergeron-Oliver, a reporter with Canada’s CTV National News, two people travelling on a media bus were also hit by the gravel, but were not injured.

Erin O’Toole, the leader of the opposition Conservative Party, described the incident as “disgusting”.

“Political violence is never justified and our media must be free from intimidation, harassment, and violence,” he tweeted.

Trudeau called a snap election in August, hoping to secure a majority government for his left-of-centre Liberal party.

However, in recent months he has faced pushback over his response to the Covid-19 pandemic and his plans for vaccine mandates have become a key issue ahead of the 20 September election.

A recent opinion poll showed that Trudeau’s Liberal Party appears to be ceding popularity to its Conservative rivals.

The Conservatives took a slim lead as support for the Liberals has eroded, according to a tracking survey by Nanos Research conducted for the CTV network and the daily Globe and Mail in late August.

The poll showed Conservatives were favored by 33.3% of eligible voters, compared to 30.8% for Trudeau’s Liberals, a difference just within the poll’s margin of error but reflecting a steady swing away from the Liberals.

In mid-August, when Trudeau announced plans to hold an early election — less than two years after the last federal ballot — his Liberals held a small lead.

The CBC public network’s poll tracker also showed a narrow but growing shift in favour of the Conservatives, giving them a lead of 32.5% to 32.2%.

The Nanos poll put the left-leaning New Democratic Party in third position, supported by 21.7% of eligible voters. The CBC tracker had the New Democrats at 20.2%.

Nanos showed O’Toole, who is still relatively unknown among the general public, with a rising approval rating, up 3.2 points to 27.2% since 23 August.

Approval for Trudeau slid by 2.8%, to 29.9%, over the same period.

Last month he had to cancel an election rally in the Toronto region because of angry anti-vaccination and anti-masking protests.

Contains reporting from © AFP 2021  

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