Being Shut Out of Prime Minister Trudeau’s Town Hall Meeting 

I have often dreamed of having the chance to ask PM Trudeau a question. I have many questions, but the idea of him having to answer any one of them honestly makes my spine tingle. So when I heard that he was finally coming to Saskatchewan as part of his cross-country town hall meeting tour, you can bet I jumped at the chance to secure myself a seat. It was last minute, as there was only a 36 hr space between when the meeting was announced, and when it was to take place. But this monumental moment – a moment which PM Trudreau himself explained as the time for him to listen to the concerns of the Canadian people, was something I very much wanted to be a part of. 

I was surprised to learn that the only way to reserve a seat was through a Liberal Party website. I was required to provide them (with no privacy policy in sight) with my personal information, including my address and telephone number. I guess they needed to bulk up their data base. 

After inputting my personal info (which I can honestly say I would never have freely given to the Liberal Party without the carrot of seeing PM Trudeau and possibly asking him a question), I received a confirmation email. 

Having received the above confirmation, I quickly went about making the necessary arrangements needed for a last minute 600km trip. Child care was arranged, as well as chore duty. Even with a possibility of meeting the PM, our animals needs must come first. On top of the regular chaos of the ranch and children, the day of Trudeau’s town hall also happened to fall on my birthday. So party plans were called off, and I broke the news to my kids that they would have to save the celebrations for the following day. 

I spent a large part of my day brainstorming ideas of possible questions to ask. I threw it out on social media, asking what respectful questions my peers would ask. There were many concerns, and thoughtful questions to go with them. 

I was very surprised to see, almost 12 hours later, another email directly from the sole Saskatchewan Liberal MP’s office in my inbox. 


I was shocked. How was this possible? There was only one way to register. They knew the exact size of the location. How could it be possible that they had over-booked the venue? The registration itself was only open for a few hours. 

Something is not adding up.

I was not surprised to see that of all the people I knew that also had an RSVP’d confirmation, each had also received the same second email. The western rural voice I had so hoped to see represented well, is apparently not going to be there. 

I am incredibly disappointed in this. Not in the idea of partisanship meetings. Not the favouritism to the Liberal supporters, but the dishonesty around it all. 

If PM Trudeau wants to (only) speak with the people that voted for him, that’s fine. But don’t call it an open town hall. And don’t make the taxpayers foot the bill. Being shut out of this meeting makes me furious. 

For a man so concerned with climate change that he is willing to force an unwanted, ineffective, carbon tax down our throats, it is shocking to me that he would expect a working mother to drive 600kms for the small chance of even getting in the door. For a man that wants to “listen” to the Canadian people, he has silenced my voice. I was ready to engage in a respectful conversation. I, like many people in the West, are not happy with the direction our country is going in. I have long suspected that PM Trudeau cares little for our western voice. This only confirms my suspicions. 

Dear PM Justin Trudeau: Shame on you. I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt. I wanted you to be open to our concerns. I wanted you to care. How disappointing. 

Adrienne Ivey

62 thoughts on “Being Shut Out of Prime Minister Trudeau’s Town Hall Meeting 

  1. I am very disappointed that we have to PAY yet again when this should be a free meeting with the PM so that his” highness” setup to connect with Canadians. He obviously wants his “wonder boy” tour, image & selfies, to be funded for his own gain, he couldn’t care less about the Canadians who can’t/won’t afford his daft tickets!! He is such a hypocritical twit!!!

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    • Why are you under any illusions that this event, or any event with the PM, would be “free”?? We as taxpayers foot his bill where and whenever he travels. This whole “town hall” baloney is just another mid-term front for campaigning. Zoolander isn’t a political brainchild listening to the people. He’s nothing more than the candied view of good ol’ QC style Marxist Liberal expansionism. It’s all a crock….

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bingo! A cynical and very expensive PR campaign paid for by the taxpayer… a cynically contrived distraction away from the PMO selling influence to the Chinese Communist Party and his secretive vacationing/fund raising trips to a billionaires private island. Just Justine and the Liberal Party expressing their bottomless contempt for the public they rule over… who can blame them… they’re not called the Libranos for nothing.

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  2. Apparently this was the cause. I received one too. You can still go.

    “Due to a technical error generated from the on-line registration, your email was also included in the list of general responses for the Town Hall this evening. We want to confirm that you are indeed invited to the Advanced registration at 6 pm. Please remember to have a printed copy of the email “THIS IS YOUR TICKET”.

    We apologize for the confusion.

    Office of the Honourable Ralph Goodale, P.C., M.P”

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  3. You thought he was actually going to let someone from rural saskatchewan in . It is a liberal whitewash, that’s why they wanted your info to weed out people , only liberals will be their . He is a shame thru and thru

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.” Much ado…
    I’m sick to death of all the hatred and conspiracy theories. I’ve seen too much Trump news, and I do not want to ever see that kind of divisiveness in Canada.
    I don’t think its likely that anyone knew you were a working mother 300 km away.
    Are you going?

    Liked by 1 person

      • You expect too much.
        Yikes you sound like a very selg entitled person.

        Maybe dont make massive last minute plans without a ticket to a clearly going to be full event? Some people…

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      • Hi Adrienne,

        Re: Poorly named Joe Canadian…

        Thanks for the great blog and standing up for yourself and other Canadians. As for you Joe Canadian, I shouldn’t be surprised by drive by insults from someone who doesn’t seem to comprehend a well written and instructive blog. You have shown your true colours, your intolerance of anything that doesn’t fit your narrative is a sad commentary on your life and intellect. Using such a condescending tone to try and shut down honest discussion is something we all need to fight against. You have taken a page from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, wonderfully used by both Obama and Clinton, when in doubt, belittle and deem your opposition. Marginalize them to the point of being irrelevant.
        In this case, with Adrienne, you are over matched intellectually and have no idea what civil discourse is. People are waking up to your tactics and will no longer remain silent. I suggest finding a safe space so you can lick you wounds. Need a tissue?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is maddening! My co-worker received a confirmation text (In French!) for this event and he hadn’t even registered! I am saddened to hear you won’t be attending as I think Trudeau should have to answer, face to face, the tough questions that you could bring to the table. Thank you for continuing to be an advocate for agriculture.

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  6. CcxHi there,you go girl go,do what must be done.Let ALL know what happened….your day was fully changed as you were accepted to go to this meeting.Go figure,your not the only one who got the screws.Your Day is going to rein.HB

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  7. I think the reason you were denied is because I believe that all questions asked of the PM will be scripted and you obviously did not receive the script. I base my thoughts on the questions asked by people in Alberta. Alberta people believe the questions were scripted there as well

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  8. This is no surprise, considering the arena you are in. Every politician can be viewed as an individual running along straddling a picket fence, and praying they don’t step into a hole.

    It is time to repeat how another Liberal and Prime Minister responded to the House of Commons after apparently being caught with the ‘twisted tongue,’ so to speak. Once the House business got underway, he was asked about his comments and he responded with: “I didn’t say that I didn’t say it. I said that didn’t say that I didn’t say that I said it, and I want to make that perfectly clear.” Needless to say the silence in the House was overwhelming.

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  9. Yeah, this is how all political parties in Canada work regardless of ideology. If you want to participate in party led discussion, you have to be a card carrying member. Additionally, in events considered open to the general populace (which are very, very rare), card carrying members will always have precedence (especially when seating is limited). You can cry and fuss all you like but that is how it has always been, regardless of party. Don’t believe me? Well Stephen Harper did the exact same thing. I know this for a fact as I had plans to participate in a town hall meeting but could not justify giving the conservative party $15 just to ask a question (beyond that if you are willing to do the research you will find many, many more instances of this phenom).
    Don’t like it? Then join the party. Don’t want to give them money? Then give it anyways and remember it is tax deductible and/or you can always offset it by donating an equal amount to an opposing party. This is the exact reason why I am a member of 3 mainstream Canadian political parties, one radical fringe party, and have plans to join the other mainstream political party.

    This is all really basic stuff and not to be condescending (tone and body language really do not convey in text) but you should actually do some research on Canadian politics and political parties before you go screaming to the internet about how unjustly you were treated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you don’t like what I write on my personal blog, feel free to never, ever read it again. I apologize that it resonated with so many people that it has been shared multiple times. I promise you, I have not once “screamed into the Internet”.
      As for the history of politics, I have not made any claim on the sainthood of past politicians. Harper did indeed have many Conservative Party meetings. The two big differences are that he did not call them “Open Town Houses”, and they were not paid for by the tax payers!

      Liked by 1 person

    • We probably only have 400 Liberals in the Province and they would certainly have to come first. Send your concerns to Ralph Goodale. That will give him the opportunity to throw them away.

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    • You’re out of line n/a with that post. It’s well known how Zoolander offered tickets to this meeting, and you can’t be critical of others who followed the guidelines to get in.
      The onus is on the PM’s office for this sham of an offering. Sure we knew people would be pre-screened, but not denied a seat once they were offered a seat. Come on…

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    • This is BS. The meeting in Calgary was stacked with university students. Don’t try and tell me that each of those kids bough a membership. You might have an idea of how this works, but you certainly don’t know everything.

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    • Can you share some info of when Harper held town hall meetings (especially so soon after being elected)? I’d like to refresh my memory on that.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. why should you need a rsvp to attend in the first place anyone who wants to attend should be let in and voice their concerns even if you have to yell from outside

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  11. No doubt the LPC screened you out via postal code, if you don’t live in an LPC held riding, no guarantee you were likely a friend. Within an LPC held riding, they probably cross referenced membership lists to confirm they only got sycophants

    Worse part of these partisan events, they are being billed to all taxpayers.

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  12. I very much doubt that Trudeau knows anything about any of this.
    This sounds like typical low level Bureaucratic bungling
    There are just so many self important peons scrambling around that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.
    It’s just typical governmental incompetence which I am certain would upset JT if he knew about it.

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  13. Blog author,

    I don’t believe you were targeted in any way. Not to sound too harsh, but it’s a bit selfish to think you and some cohorts were targeted out solely because of where you live. The event was simply well attended and you could never be guaranteed a spot, especially for free tickets – what did you expect? I even read below that there might have been technical issues. Let’s not even get into he fact that like him or not, JT hasn’t kept out hecklers and others who are hostile towards him throughout this tour. Do you really think he’s going to target little ol’ you? Come off it.

    I’m a suburbanite and a Liberal, so take it as you will, but I want voices like yours to be heard by JT, the Liberals, and every pooitician out there. Rural Canada is just as invaluable as urban Canada, same thing with West vs East and whatever. If I legit thought you were kept out because of where you lived, I’d be outraged because there is no excuse – but yeah, sorry I don’t see it here. Lots to criticize with Trudeau and the LPC but this ain’t one.

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    • Thanks for the insight on the blog. That would be frustrating. There are so many assumptions that can be made about the reason for the “error”.

      Here’s a conspiracy for you to ponder, what if, this personal information screening is way to decipher illegal immigrants and people with criminal history. No Prime Minister wants those people in their town hall. So what about the honest farmers then? Well, when they’re done the screening, I’m sure they pick the first criminally free 400 and go from there.
      Just a thought. Take it as you will.

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    • No Kyle not to sound too harsh but you are mistaken.
      The post showed a copy of the email saying she had a ticket (i.e. entry) into the event. Later she is being denied entry. In this day of online ticket sales including pic-a-tic etc, it is very simple to set up an online registration system that keeps track of attendees even for a free event.

      Therefore, either she was filtered out because she was not a card-carrying Kool-aid drinking member of the Liberal Party or the organizers are incompetent and cannot organize an event effectively with all of the tools that are readily available to them.

      Either way, either the whole attendance filtering is a sham to avoid confrontation or they are incompetent. The author is perfectly correct in complaining about a tax-payer funded road show being ran this way. Especially in light of the fact that it is obvious the road show is to take the spotlight off Trudeau’s illegal flight in the helicopter and his pay for access dinners with Chinese Billionaires.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Maybe you should consider how Stephen Harper was and compare. No public meetings. No debate about policy. Scientists not able to share findings. No answers to press. I think his efforts are good. I am sorry you had a missed opportunity but Please continue forwarding your concerns to your federal member and to the Prime Ministers office. The rural/at community needs to be heard.

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    • Oh, and how often have you been hearing from scientists under the new administration?
      Guess what? You don’t, because even the Liberals too saw the liability exposure by having unofficial technical people serving as unannounced spokespersons for their departments. This is the same in the private sector. You can’t have representatives releasing statements of their own volition which could be construed as representative of their working group as a whole. Scientists by nature have differing opinions. If a representative spoke out of turn on an issue that wasn’t representative, and then someone materially gained in lieu of that information, well….see you in court…

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      • bang on Dave

        how often do you ever see the arresting officer give his side of the story to the media?
        never
        how about the accountant from petro canada giving an interview to the local paper?
        never

        i was a scientist in the public sector and the first thing they make you sign is a non-disclosure agreement,
        including you are to never represent yourself as any type of spokesman of the lab and voice anything to the outside world
        that was back when the shawinagan strangler was pm, but i certainly did not think he was muzzling scientists
        it is simply standard operating procedure for every company in the world

        but if the lie is repeated often enough, it becomes fact in people’s minds
        very few ever want to search out a matter anymore

        kudos to the author of this blog for shining a little light on the machinations of the ‘open’ dialogue,
        every little crack in the door helps

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  15. It is important to stop giving politicians the ‘benefit of the doubt’ … that’s just stupid and naive. They are politicians and none of them can be trusted. They are professional liars and deceivers. That is the art of politics.

    Turdeau is a boy in a man’s job. It won’t last.

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    • “A Man’s job” Why couldn’t a woman do that job, it is 2017
      Trudeau, boy or not, has an impressive cabinet. A Foreign Affairs Minister who has spoken to Putin in Russian, A Minister of Science who is a Scientist, A minister of Defence who was a combat veteran. He has General Leslie as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs to stick handle US relations, with Brian Mulroney already having met with Trump and advising the government. John McCallum as the new ambassador to China, a posting the Chinese will see as significant.

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      • Things have changed while you were trying decide on a gender. We can refer to mankind as mankind without having to say ‘womenkind’ along with it. ‘Man’ traditionally means all of us as a species. There are women who can do some jobs that usually require a man, but that’s not this fucking issue. The issue is that there is an irresponsible boy attempting to lead our country and he isn’t smart enough to pull it off. Plus he is a muslim-suck and a gay cabaliaro …. Normal people cannot relate to him. He is a freak and a fool.

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  16. I heard about your blog on Gormley this morning. Then my friend posted it on FB. Thanks for sharing your story. Sadly, it’s not shocking or surprising.
    You are very interesting and articulate.
    I would vote for you as Prime Minister 🙂 Seriously.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. All of these events are run this way now. Our pre-election debates required people to hand in questions and have them screened by a panel. My question on immigration was never asked. It’s the new censorship.

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  18. He was afraid you would ask HOW his carbon tax would reduce CO2 emissions when all it would do is drive our clean industry out of business while the lost production moved to the coal fired factories in China.
    So it would produce more CO2 and real pollution, not less.

    When the carbon tax puts the Evraz pipe mill in Regina out of business the production will move to China, and the scrap steel will be shipped there, and the finished product will be shipped back.
    According to the green loons we are supposed to be locovores and source all our food locally, but we should buy our steel from coal powered mills in China.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. No one had to pay anything to go seating was first come first serve. They were talking about the floor seating being limited to 400 the bleaches were open to as many as showed up to the seating capacity. Sorry to hear that your local MP did registration that way. I went to my local one and if you were interested in going they asked you to rsvp the mayors office no info required. Due to the overwhelming response they changed the venue.we had over three thousand people come and it was first come for the seating.

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  20. Hold on here, let’s put your expectations and your post in perspective. You were going to drive 600km, on your birthday, for a chance at asking one question in a scripted townhall format to the PM. Then you found out the 400 seats were booked before you registered your interest. Now it’s a conspiracy and he has personally silenced your voice? Potlitical discourse is about more than one climatic encounter where you ask a single question that summarizes all the grievances and concerns of everything you value. I honestly think it is great that you were willing to drive the 600km, on your birthday, to raise your voice. I really do. But don’t be so defeatist. You were willing to engage in a constructive conversation but by opening that one email that said you could no longer attend the town hall, you aren’t willing to? And I have to say, no one “expected” you, as a mother with many valid responsibilities, to drive 600km for a chance to get in the door. Our society requires continual conversation about what we as individuals believe and want for our county and humanity. Not one off Facebook rants about how we were individually wronged by the PM himself. And climate change is real, a carbon tax is necessary, even though it might be tough to adjust finances, especially for people whose livelihood requires significant consumption of fossil fuels. But stop spreading your personal beliefs as fact. Consumption taxes are widely accepted as the most effective way to change behaviour. Do your research, make informed decisions, and don’t play the victim. Make constructive contributions, like you said you wanted to before you found out the 400 seats were taken.

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    • Re-read the post Brad. And then stop making your own assumptions about the discussions I have/am having. And the number one statement of anyone that has done very little learning of their own is “do your research”. But thanks.

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      • I read it, three times. I do think it sucks that you weren’t able to attend the town hall. But I disagree with you saying that the PM has silenced your voice, and that a carbon tax is ineffective. These are things you put in your post. I’m just commenting on what you said. Surrounding oneself with people who support your point of view is easy. Engaging in a meaningful discussion with people who differ is when real progress can be made.

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      • There are many, many points pointing to the ineffectiveness of a carbon tax, but that is honestly not something I have time to deal with today.
        If you think for one second that I am only allowing one side of the convo, have a look at the comments I have approved to be on this, my personal blog post, yours included. I, like many many others, feel that the West lacks a voice in Ottawa. This is nothing new, or even surprising. Telling people they are whining, or engaging incorrectly is pretty far from having a “meaningful discussion” and pretty much halts any possibility of real progress being made.
        Thank you for your time, but I must now get back to work.

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      • Thanks for posting my response. Make sure you engage your MP, he/she is your voice in Ottawa, as ineffective as it may sometimes seem. Don’t give up because you couldn’t attend the town hall, It sounds like you want to make a difference. I just have a hard time reading things like “he has silenced my voice” and ” ineffective carbon tax” the latter, is part of a historical policy that marks an important time in our country’s history, albeit a controversial one. The former is a very dangerous and real problem facing hundreds of millions of people, being silenced by their political leaders, but it is certainly not happening in Canada, and to say so is irresponsible.

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  21. This only confirms my thoughts as well! Disappointing to say the least. He doesn’t care about us an neither did his father, just going through the motions to look good.

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  22. You’re not important. The same reason why people in part of Ontario like Oxford Co.,(lot of people are employed either in the farming industry or in auto manufacturing) were shut out when he showed up in London(middlesex co.). The only thing they want are people from big cities who will reaffirm what they’re trying to push. This is the type of stuff that’s killing the democrat party in the US, it’s why despite the huge push by republicans against Trump along with the DNC. He was still elected.

    The rural electorate are growing increasingly angry at being ignored, and growing even angrier that the policies that governments are pushing seem to target them directly. Those of us in small towns or rural areas in Ontario, have very similar beliefs and stances as folks in Western Canada. And this pandering to one group is going to backfire.

    Like

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