Justin Trudeau has said he believes he was hit on the shoulder by stones after protesters targeted him on a campaign stop ahead of Canada’s general election.
The Canadian prime minister on Monday was visiting a brewery in London, Ontario when stones were thrown by anti-Trudeau protesters who gathered outside. Many were believed to be anti-vaxxers, and opponents to public health measures.
According to a reporter with Canada’s CTV National News, Mr. Trudeau was hit by stones as he walked from the brewery building to his campaign bus. Two others were travelling on a media bus were also struck, but uninjured.
The stones were described as being “small stones, sort of like gravel”, and “something clearly picked up on the road”, although it was not clear. Video shared on social media showed Mr. Trudeau boarding his Liberal campaign bus as the stones were thrown.
Speaking to reporters after the stop in Ontario, the prime minister said he “might have” been hit by the stones on the shoulder but that he was not injured, according to The Washington Post. He described the objects as “little bits of gravel”.
Mr. Trudeau also dismissed the incident as “no big deal” and compared it to when a woman threw pumpkin seeds at him in 2016.
He is currently campaigning for re-election after calling a nationwide vote for this month, with the aim of securing a Liberal majority in the House of Commons. The election will take place on 20 September.
Monday’s incident was not the first to disrupt his campaign, which has been disrupted by demonstrations against Covid vaccine mandates for civil servants, restrictions on international travel, and other issues.
Despite the protests, polls suggest that Canadians are largely in support of Mr. Trudeau’s calls for vaccine mandates. The country also has among the highest vaccination rates in the world, at 68 percent, according to The Post.