Federal election

Trudeau urges supporters to get the vote out

The Liberal leader held a last-minute rally Saturday morning as election day looms closer

Justin Trudeau at the rally this morning.
Justin Trudeau at the rally this morning.   Maia Kowalski

When Justin Trudeau walked up to the podium at his final Halifax rally this morning, he noticed something.

“Look at the young people around you,” he told the crowd of more than a thousand. He then praised his younger supporters for being involved in the campaign.

“Give the young person beside you a high-five,” he joked.

Trudeau was greeted by concert-level cheering, chants of “Trudeau” and a flood of red shirts at the Westin Nova Scotian hotel, where he urged his supporters to “get out there” and encourage as many people as possible to vote on Monday.

“Do whatever you can to make sure that no vote, and no voter, gets left behind,” he said.

Alternating between English and French, Trudeau reiterated some of his campaign promises, including more affordable housing, raising taxes on the wealthiest one per cent of Canadians to address income inequality and lifting 315,000 Canadian children out of poverty.

He said the current government was “tired and disconnected” and he vowed that Liberal candidates in Nova Scotia would be “your voice in Ottawa, not Ottawa’s voice in Nova Scotia.”

“We have a chance to take Canada from Stephen Harper, and give it back to Canadians,” he said.

Liberal candidates Darren Fisher, Darrell Samson and Andy Fillmore each spoke before the rally began, and each received the same thunderous applause as Trudeau when the Liberal leader mentioned them in his speech.

Not all fun and games

But even though morale was high and the atmosphere euphoric, the rally wasn’t without some surprises.

The energy in the room was so overwhelming for an older man that he fainted, temporarily distracting some audience members from Trudeau’s speech.

Outside the hotel, before the rally even began, a large group of protesters chanted about the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, saving door-to-door postal service and Bill C-51.

Later, in the middle of Trudeau’s speech, two protesters started shouting from the audience and held up signs that said “Liberals in bed with TransCanada.”

They were quickly booed by the audience and subsequently drowned out by more chants of “Trudeau.” The Liberal leader was unnerved, smiling calmly, and held up his hand to silence the crowd and regain their attention.

Once the rally was over, he walked through his throng of supporters, shaking hands and taking selfies.

Trudeau took no questions from the audience, and hosted a news conference with the media in a separate room.

It was a busy day for him today, as he also made appearances in Saint John, N.B., Thunder Bay, Ont. and Winnipeg, Man.