Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is cancelling his planned trip to the Caribbean this week amid criticism over his government’s handling of a series of anti-pipeline protests that have disrupted rail service in parts of Canada.

The Prime Minister’s Office announced the cancellation Sunday evening, less than 24 hours before Trudeau was scheduled to fly to Barbados where he was expected to pitch Caribbean leaders on why Canada should get a seat on the United Nations Security Council.

The PMO says Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne will represent Canada in his stead as Trudeau stays put to deal with the ongoing protests.

Trudeau was criticized by Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and others last week for “running around” Africa and Europe as protesters opposed to the Coastal GasLink pipeline project in British Columbia blockaded rail lines in B.C., Ontario and other parts of the country.

The prime minister’s visit to Barbados was to coincide with a gathering of leaders from across what is known as the Caribbean Community, or Caricom, which includes 15 countries as full members and five others as associate members.

The prime minister used similar summits in Ethiopia and Germany last week to make his pitch for a seat on the Security Council to a large cross-section of leaders from across Africa and Europe.

More coming.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 16, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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