Trudeau defends large election rally, says it followed COVID-19 health guidelines

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HALIFAX — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is defending a large indoor rally he held in Brampton, Ont., saying his party followed public health guidelines.

Hundreds of people surrounded the stage Tuesday evening, where he was introduced by former prime minister Jean Chrétien.

Supporters mobbed Trudeau at the end of the event, despite organizers asking people to stand in squares taped on the ground.

Liberal staffers said there were about 400 people in attendance and the gathering met local COVID-19 rules limiting indoor venues to half capacity.

Trudeau says it's important to recognize that as nearly 80 per cent of eligible Canadians are vaccinated, it's increasingly possible for those people to return to "doing the things we love."

The rally was also attended by 100-year-old former Mississauga, Ont., mayor Hazel McCallion, who said after the event she didn't agree with calling an election during the pandemic but nevertheless hoped Trudeau's Liberals win a majority.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 15, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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