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Trudeau Scolds His Own Supporters For Heckling Reporter

"We have respect for journalists in this country."

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau scolded some of his own supporters Thursday after a journalist's question on the resignation of his campaign co-chair elicited groans.

Reporters at an event in Montreal asked Trudeau to weigh in on Dan Gagnier, who quit the Liberal campaign a day earlier. The resignation came after revelations that advised TransCanada Corp. — the company behind the Energy East Pipeline — on how to lobby a new government.

When CTV correspondent Omar Sachedina noted that Liberals initially defended Gagnier Wednesday — saying that his actions did not break any rules — some supporters near Trudeau grew restless.

"Hey! We have respect for journalists in this country," Trudeau said, turning toward them. "They ask tough questions and they're supposed to. OK?"

The Liberal leader also offered an apology to Sachedina.

A Globe and Mail reporter shared a brief clip of the moment online.

A longer video from The National Post shows Sachedina going on to ask Trudeau why he was now saying Gagnier acted improperly.

"Does your party suddenly have higher standards overnight?" he asked.

Trudeau said that Liberals accepted Gagnier's decision this week because they all recognized his actions were inappropriate.

"We understand that Canadians want to be able to hold a better government to higher ethical standards," he said. "I personally hold extremely high ethical standards, not just for myself but for people surrounding me."

Sachedina also took to Twitter to note the exchange.

The heckling may remind some of an incident at a Conservative event in August when reporters were jeered for asking Tory Leader Stephen Harper about the trial of disgraced Sen. Mike Duffy.

Harper gestured at a man shouting for reporters to "ask questions on the topic at hand" to calm down, and even said: "It's OK."


After the event, an irate Tory supporter infamously called journalists "lying pieces of shit" in an on-camera outburst.

A reporter was also heckled in September for asking Harper about the Syrian refugee crisis after the death of three-year-old Alan Kurdi, whose lifeless body washed ashore on a Turkish beach.

"How many kids drowned in pools in Canada this past summer? Do you blame the government for that?" a man yelled out.


But there has been some heckling from New Democrats as well.

Last week, NDP supporters at an announcement in Toronto dealing with the arts grew tired that party leader Thomas Mulcair was facing questions about the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

And a reporter was also heckled at an NDP event in Nova Scotia on Wednesday after she asked Mulcair about potentially misleading campaign material being distributed to voters.

"I know you didn't vet that flyer. I know it's not your fault that it's out there," she said.

"Why are you bringing this up?" someone shouted.

The remark drew a chuckle from the NDP leader.

With files from The Canadian Press

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