Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to a park near Victoria didn’t quite follow the script today as he accidentally fell into the water while trying to get into a kayak.
A dampened Trudeau joked that he was, in his words, “happy the national media was there to capture that.”
The prime minister’s kayak voyage at the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve became even more eventful when a bride and groom sailed up beside his kayak to pose for a selfie with Trudeau.
Michelle Gruetzner was wearing her white wedding dress.
She said she and her husband, Heiner Gruetzner, were holding their wedding reception on nearby Sidney Spit when they approached the prime minister. Trudeau kissed the bride, twice.
PM meets with local First Nations
On Saturday afternoon, Trudeau met with First Nations leadership in Tofino.
The relationship between the government and local First Nations grew heated in the fall of 2016 over fishing negotiations, but Ken Watts, vice-president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, said Saturday’s meeting was productive.
“For me, the biggest part is we’re actually meeting the prime minister — not just a two-minute photo op in Ottawa, but an actual meeting for an hour with 14 First Nations,” said Watts.
“After nine years [of fishing negotiations], things are starting to be put on the table and offers are being made … but there’s still a lot of work to do.”
Trudeau spent several days this week in B.C., making stops in Revelstoke, Williams Lake, Vancouver and Victoria.
He acknowledged the efforts of firefighters in B.C.’s Interior region during a day-long visit to Williams Lake, where more than 10,000 people were recently evacuated from their homes to escape the threat of a wildfire.
Trudeau and B.C. Premier John Horgan also took an aerial tour of the fire zone in B.C.’s central Interior on board a Canadian Forces Chinook helicopter. At times the smoke from the surrounding fires was so thick, the ground below was barely visible.
The prime minister spoke on Friday night to about 100 people gathered for a Liberal party event at a hotel in Victoria, B.C., saying the party must continue to bring forward new ideas that make Canada stronger.
With files from Matt Meuse.