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“The prime minister wants to hear from them on how they are feeling at the start of 2017, what their concerns and anxieties are, and what we can do to help alleviate that,” spokesperson Cameron Ahmed told the Star last week.
But the road trip — which continues on to Quebec, Prairies, and B.C. — has taken on partisan overtones as Liberal MPs hosting Trudeau at some of his Ontario stopovers are using their websites to glean personal data of those who want to attend.
Liberal MP Mark Gerretsen, who is hosting Trudeau’s Thursday town hall event in Kingston, promoted the event on Twitter and Facebook. “The prime minister wants to hear from you about issues that matter to you and our community as we enter the new year,” Gerretsen wrote.
Liberal MPs Peter Fragiskatos (London North Centre), Neil Ellis (Bay of Quinte), Maryam Monsef (Peterborough-Kawartha), Kate Young (London West), are all doing the same for Trudeau’s two-day swing through Ontario.
In an interview, Gerretsen said that people are “encouraged” to sign up so organizers can get a sense of the expected crowd but said registration wasn’t mandatory to attend.
“I’m encouraging anybody who is interested to let us know by registering and come on out,” Gerretsen said.
“I think there are a lot of questions about who is paying for it, what are they doing with the information,” she said in an interview.
“What’s he planning via the Liberal website is not a Tim Horton’s, town hall coffee shop event. I think that’s clear,” Bergen said.
Officials in Trudeau’s office refused to discuss the road tour itinerary this week, even though Liberal MPs have been publicly advertising his stops.
On Thursday, Trudeau is scheduled to make stops in Kingston, Napanee and Belleville before heading to the military airbase in Trenton, where he will meet personnel and spend the night.
On Friday, Trudeau starts his day north of Cobourg, heads to Peterborough for an event with Maryam Monsef, then to Burlington for a session with cabinet newcomer Karina Gould and wraps up in London, with a town hall.