OTTAWA — Dozens of delegates at a youth labour forum turned their backs Tuesday on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, using body language to express their frustrations with everything from global warming to so-called precarious work.
As Trudeau began taking questions from two of the forum's hosts, some delegates began to heckle and jeer while several rows of young people turned to face the back of the room, prompting harsh words from the prime minister himself.
Their actions sent the wrong signal to the other young people in the room, Trudeau told his detractors.
"It is a little bit frustrating for me to come in, sit down, look forward to hearing from you, talking with you, and seeing a room full of people who are standing in a way that shows they're not listening," he said.
"And I think it reflects poorly on everyone who does want to listen and engage."
While Trudeau was applauded and cheered by some for defending himself, several delegates shouted back, calling the PM a "hypocrite" and holding signs reading "Keep the Promise."
Many of the delegates were upset with the Liberal government's support for the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, as well as Finance Minister Bill Morneau's recent comments about "job churn."
"It is a little bit frustrating for me to come in, sit down, look forward to hearing from you, talking with you, and seeing a room full of people who are standing in a way that shows they're not listening."
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