The federal Conservative and NDP leaders put partisan politics aside to show support for Justin Trudeau after a security threat forced the Liberal leader to wear a bulletproof vest and beef up protective measures during an election campaign stop in Mississauga, Ont., on Saturday.
“Very upsetting to hear that Justin Trudeau had to wear a bulletproof vest tonight at a campaign event,” the Conservatives’ Andrew Scheer tweeted Saturday night.
“Threats of violence against political leaders have absolutely no place in our democracy. Thank you to the RCMP for taking these threats seriously and keeping us safe.”
Very upsetting to hear that Justin Trudeau had to wear a bulletproof vest tonight at a campaign event. Threats of violence against political leaders have absolutely no place in our democracy. Thank you to the RCMP for taking these threats seriously and keeping us safe.
— Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) October 13, 2019
Jagmeet Singh of the New Democrats also took to Twitter to say how any threat against Trudeau or any other leader is “troubling to us all.”
‘No one should face threats of violence’
“No matter how you vote or believe, no one should face threats of violence,” he tweeted. “To the officers who protect all of us — thank you.”
Any threat made against @JustinTrudeau, or any leader, is troubling to all of us. No matter how you vote or believe, no one should face threats of violence. To the officers who protect all of us – thank you.
— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) October 13, 2019
On Saturday, Trudeau’s scheduled appearance at a rally of 2,000 supporters in Mississauga was delayed by 90 minutes and featured a much heavier security detail once he took the stage.
Uniformed tactical officers wearing heavy backpacks surrounded Trudeau as he addressed the crowd.
He delivered the speech without incident, and also shook hands with supporters lining the stage and in the crowd as he left the venue.
Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, had been scheduled to introduce him, but she did not appear on stage.
The Liberal Party wouldn’t comment, but CBC News sources confirmed the beefed-up security was a result of a security threat.
RCMP officials have told CBC News that when a political leader faces a serious security threat, the RCMP will complete a threat assessment. The leader’s protective detail will then sit down with the leader to discuss how the RCMP would like to proceed. Together, all will then negotiate a plan.
If the leader still wants to attend an event despite the threat level being high, the RCMP would implement additional safety measures.
Last month, sources told CBC News the RCMP were compiling daily threat reports on online hate targeting federal political leaders during the campaign leading up to the Oct. 21 election, fearing it could spill over into real-world violence.
Meanwhile, there have been an increase in online posts condoning violence during the campaign, according to government sources close to the file.