Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced questions about everything from pipelines, Indigenous rights, construction workers in rural areas, international student tuition rates, persons with disabilities, to the carbon tax at the town hall held at the University of Regina on January 20, 2019.
A diverse crowd attended, including yellow vest protestors and Indigenous rights protestors. The Prime Minister took around 20 questions from the crowd.
Before the event was underway, Ariana Schnell said she hoped to ask about the carbon tax and its relation to the coal mine by Coronach, Saskatchewan.
“Why are you implementing a carbon tax that would close all the coal plants in canada but yet continue to export coal from china. Why is it okay to pollute over there but not here,” Schnell said.
Schnell is concerned the closure of the mine would result in majority of the town being out of work.
“My dad works there, my uncle works there, my two cousins all work there so and my other uncle works there so all of my family would pretty much have to move,” she said. “It’s like that a lot for other people too.”
Sitting on the other side of the stands, Amanda Leader was more interested in the federal government’s climate change policy.
“Specifically climate change and the pipeline and what’s going on in [British Columbia] right now with the Wet’suwet’en people,” she said. “It’s just crazy out there. They’re breaking their own laws.”
Leader said she would rather the government leave the Wet’suwet’en area.
“Let them live off their land, protect their water for their future generations,” Leader said. “They know what’s right for their land and their people.”
Logan Mathieson said he hoped to ask about the Prime Minister’s stance on human rights and immigration.
“How can you be a feminist and pro you know gay and lesbian writes then on the flip side you know I’ve seen a picture of him in a mosque praying,” 34-year-old Mathieson said.
“A lot of people are concerned with the immigration. We are tolerant country, I mean who’s more tolerant than the west,” Mathieson said. “I haven’t heard any good policies from him.”
Sitting higher up in the risers was a group of University of Regina International students. Valentina Nanetti said they wanted to become involved in the event as they see Canada as being a leading example of diversity.
“Everyone in Latin America sees Canada as a very good example of like tolerance and accepting other people,” Nanetti said. “I would like to ask him like what he thinks he has done or how important is diversity in his government and what he thinks has been the strategies that have worked the most.”