Trudeau wears bulletproof vest after security threat delays campaign rally

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau wore a bulletproof vest on stage amid heavy security at a campaign rally after a security threat, senior Liberal sources tell CBC News.

His appearance at a crowded rally of supporters in Mississauga, Ont., on Saturday evening was delayed by 90 minutes and featured a much heavier security detail around him once the Liberal leader took the stage.

Uniformed tactical officers wearing heavy backpacks surrounded the Liberal leader as he addressed the crowd.  

Trudeau delivered the speech without incident. His wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, was initially supposed to introduce him but did not appear on stage. 

When asked for more details, the Liberal Party said there would be no comment on Saturday night. 

Saturday’s extra security measures come amid heightened fears of violence on the campaign. Last month, sources told CBC News the RCMP are compiling daily threat reports on online hate targeting federal political leaders during this election campaign, fearing it could spill over into real-world violence. 

Government sources close to the file confirmed an increase in online posts condoning violence during the campaign.

In February, ahead of his testimony in front of the justice committee on the SNC-Lavalin affair, Michael Wernick, then-clerk of the privy council, warned of the dangers of rising hate on the campaign trail.

“I worry about the rising tides of incitements to violence when people use terms like ‘treason’ and ‘traitor’ in open discourse. Those are the words that lead to assassination,” Wernick told committee members. 

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau attends a rally during an election campaign visit to Mississauga, Ontario, Canada October 12, 2019. (Stephane Mahe/Reuters)