Justin Trudeau hit by stones on campaign trail

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been hit by gravel thrown by protesters during a campaign stop.

He was returning to his bus after visiting a brewery when he was pelted by gravel. He was not injured.

Mr Trudeau called a snap election in mid-August, in the hope of gaining a majority government for his left-of-centre Liberal party.

But his campaign has been disrupted by demonstrations against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other restrictions.

Just over a week ago, the prime minister was forced to cancel an election rally after a crowd of angry protesters ambushed the event.

Speaking to journalists on his campaign plane after the incident in London, Ontario, Mr Trudeau said he may have been hit on the shoulder.

According to a reporter with Canada’s CTV National News, two people travelling on a media bus were also hit by the gravel, although they were not injured.

On Tuesday, the Liberal leader called the actions of the protestors “absolutely unacceptable”.

“Nobody should be doing their jobs under the threats of violence or acts that put them in danger,” he said during a Montreal campaign stop. “But it’s not just political rallies where this is happening.”

Provincial politicians, public health officials, restaurant owners and healthcare workers have faced harassment in incidents across the country in recent weeks.

Erin O’Toole, the leader of the opposition Conservative Party, described the incident as “disgusting”.

“Political violence is never justified and our media must be free from intimidation, harassment, and violence,” he tweeted.

Mr Trudeau’s plans for vaccine mandates have become a key issue ahead of the September 20 election.

In Canada, all federal party leaders have championed Covid vaccines, though there are some policy differences.

Last month, the government announced that all civil servants – including workers in federally regulated sectors, like rail – must be vaccinated by the end of October or risk losing their jobs.

Commercial air, cruise and interprovincial train passengers must also be vaccinated to travel.

The Conservatives prefer incentives, like allowing for paid time-off for the jab, and requiring regular Covid testing for unvaccinated workers and Canadians travelling across the country.

Canada has one of the highest Covid vaccination rates in the world.-BBC

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