NEW GLASGOW – More than 2,000 people experienced the renaissance of Trudeaumania on Tuesday at Glasgow Square.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wowed the crowd as it crushed around him and Central Nova MP Sean Fraser for greetings and the ever-growing phenomenon of cellphone selfies that Trudeau has always welcomed since he entered politics.
Trudeau arrived at the downtown barbecue at approximately 12:30 p.m. and followed an address by Fraser with a few remarks in a slightly hoarse voice.
There was something for everyone in terms of entertainment and refreshment for those who attended.
“I know they sold 1,000 ice creams before I got in line,” Fraser’s father John Fraser quipped.
Trudeau arrived from early morning infrastructure funding announcements totalling $116 million for Nova Scotia that took place in Bridgetown in the Annapolis Valley constituency that Premier Stephen McNeil represents.
Trudeau began with his unbridled praise for Fraser and the work he has done since becoming the Central Nova MP during the federal Liberals’ return to power in 2015 under Trudeau’s leadership.
Fraser praised the outpouring of warmth and adulation the crowd showed by attending the event and show Trudeau “the very best we have to offer.”
“It gives me a lot of hope for the future of our region,” he said, noting the $10 million of infrasturcture funding that will come to Central Nova alone.
After Fraser’s introduction, Trudeau lauded “the extraordinary Sean Fraser, a huge part of our team.”
Trudeau voiced his appreciation for the strong voices that represent the Liberals in Parliament.
“That’s exactly what you got in this man,” Trudeau said.
He said Tuesday was a day not for political speeches but for celebration of communities.
The anticipation in the crowd before Trudeau’s arrival was electric.
“I figured there would be a lot of people here,” said young Duncan Bannerman, who was accompanied by his mother Selena and brother Casey.
Mary Alice Ali said it was difficult bracing for Trudeau’s arrival, although it was mere days before it was announced that Pictou County would be one of the stops on his tour of Atlantic Canada.
“I had a tension for two weeks,” she said.
While there were plenty of supporters for Trudeau, including those who helped elect Fraser, less partisan people also witnessed the historic event.
“I’m not political,” Lorraine Williston said. “I’m here because I’m a proud Canadian. I’m impressed with (Trudeau) so far. He leads with his heart. He has a strong cabinet and they seem to be people who want to make a difference.”
Linda Smith and Nancy MacConnell-Maxner referred to Trudeau’s earlier funding announcements and how people filled the square and some streets that were closed for the event.
“Jobs, business – that is what Pictou County needs so badly,” Smith said.
“I think it shows what kind of leader he is,” MacConnell-Maxner said. “The people who wanted to meet him and the announcements he made for Nova Scotia are positive for Pictou County.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greeted a very large and exuberant crowd Tuesday at a barbecue near Glasgow Square in New Glasgow hosted by Central Nova MP Sean Fraser, left. To the right of Trudeau are some members of a family of Syrian refugees who now call Pictou County home. (Brimicombe photo)