Pipelines, indigenous issues raise heat at PM's town-hall meeting in Winnipeg
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with media at a press conference at the University of Winnipeg in Winnipeg, Thursday, January 26, 2017. (John Woods/The Canadian Press)
Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, January 26, 2017 6:37PM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 27, 2017 8:18AM EST
WINNIPEG -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced some anger over indigenous issues and pipeline development during a town-hall meeting in Winnipeg.
Small groups of protesters scattered throughout the crowd of about 1,200 people held up anti-pipeline signs and shouted "Keep it in the ground."
Another protester, seated directly behind the prime minister, held up a sign that read "Water is sacred."
As a handful of protesters challenged him, Trudeau asked for permission to continue and said he wanted to answer people's questions.
One man told Trudeau that his approval of some pipeline developments is alienating progressive people who voted for him.
Most in the crowd applauded Trudeau and applauded strongly when he asked the protesters to let him speak.
Earlier in the day, Trudeau was greeted by protesters shouting "Water is life" as he walked through the University of Regina to meet students. Trudeau replied that he agreed and continued to make his way down a long corridor packed with students trying to squeeze in a selfie with him.
There were also people carrying placards that said "People over Pipelines."
One man at a Regina cafe where Trudeau also stopped Thursday morning said: "I've got to give you a little credit, for you to come to these town halls and do what you're doing, well done."
"You've got to talk and hear from people you disagree with as well and who disagree with you, hear those concerns," said Trudeau.
"When I made the decision around pipelines, I went back to Vancouver and a whole bunch of people disagreed with me on that. I said, "Listen, I know you're concerned about climate change, concerned about protecting our oceans. This is what we're doing on climate change. This is what we're doing on oceans. I know it won't make you agree with me on pipelines, but we're getting that balance right.
"We are hearing you, even though we're going to disagree on a few things."'
Trudeau got a mostly warm reception at a Winnipeg elementary school where he stopped before making his way to the town hall.
A few hundred kids asked him questions about his childhood and what he likes about being prime minister.
One student asked him why did his father -- former prime minister Pierre Trudeau -- "give everyone in Western Canada the middle finger?"
"My father had an approach to politics that not everyone agreed with," Trudeau replied.
"But he always thought about Canada."
Trudeau also pointed out the student was in a school with a successful French immersion program because of the elder Trudeau's policies.
The Winnipeg town hall was Trudeau's 10th such meeting in recent weeks.