It was nothing short of Trudeaumania in downtown Belleville, but for some who pre-registered to see the Prime Minister and didn’t get to, they were left feeling frustrated with all the ‘mayhem.’
Hundreds flocked to the Empire Theatre to get a glimpse of the PM, take photos and ask him questions as part of his cross country tour to connect with Canadians.
Many who were left in line with their proof of registration confirmation took to social media to express their disappointment as they felt assured they would get in if they showed up early. Similar stories were shared out of Kingston where the PM met with an audience of 265 before traveling to Napanee and then the Friendly City.
On Monday, Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis’ office announced the Prime Minister would be making a stop in Belleville, advised everyone to RSVP ahead of time and show up early.
Ellis said he wished he had more time to get a bigger venue and pointed to the Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre as a possibility. He said unfortunately MPs don’t organize the events and they are handled through the Prime Minister’s office in Ottawa. He said they had little control over what happened on the ground, attributing it to security issues.
Ellis said they didn’t expect that many people to show up. He said 750 people RSVPed and they figured 30% wouldn’t show up so they advised people to show up early and many did. He said 700 were seated, plus standing room for media and they even added 50 chairs to the stage for people to sit – they were hand selected at random by Ellis himself.
Trenton’s Evelyn Wilson took to Twitter and Facebook calling it nothing short of ‘mayhem’ at the door. She told Quinte News when she arrived an hour and a half ahead of the 6 p.m. event, she had a friend hold her spot while she went to see if there was going to be a separate line dedicated for those who had registered. She was relying on the fact the media and Ellis’ office said there would be walk-ins allowed depending on seat availability.
Overall those who did get in seemed quite pleased with the event, even Conservative and former Belleville council candidate Richard Black, who took the opportunity to shake the PM’s hand following the town hall.
“I feel he related to the people very well,” said Black. “I wish he would have said more on how he plans to work with the U.S. and making sure jobs stay in Canada after President-elect Donald Trump takes office. The economy is one of the things where we know we have to be stable. This tour is going to cost us big money but I think it’s a good thing he came out. I think if more politicians go out and talk to the people it will be a good thing.”
Ellis said the crowd was very respectful and asked a lot of great questions. He said he is very proud of the riding.
The Prime Minister also drew large crowds where he finished his Quinte tour Thursday at CFB Trenton where he was guest for breakfast at the Yukon Galley cafeteria.
Hundreds give PM warm welcome http://www.quintenews.com/2017/01/hundreds-give-pm-trudeau-warm-welcome-belleville/137160/
Trudeau talks to the troops http://www.quintenews.com/2017/01/trudeau-talks-troops/137204/