Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Highbury Canco in Leamington, July 1, 2018 (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

Trudeau Celebrates Canadians In Leamington; No Mention Of Tariffs (Gallery)

On the day Canada imposes tariffs on billions of dollars worth of American products, the Prime Minister helped Essex County residents celebrate Canada Day.

Thousands braved the sweltering heat to hear the Justin Trudeau speak briefly outside the doors of Highbury Canco in Leamington.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Highbury Canco in Leamington, July 1, 2018 (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Highbury Canco in Leamington, July 1, 2018 (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

Highbury Canco coincidentally is celebrating its fourth anniversary in Leamington after taking over the former Heinz plant leaving hundreds of people jobless. While still shy of the numbers Heinz once employed at the plant at the corner of Erie St. and Oak St., Highbury Canco continues to grow processing tomato paste for a large number of products which are sold in Canada. Some brands it supplies were on display across the street from where Trudeau spoke.

“He took the time to hear about our company, hear about our town, and he’s very engaged in what his government can do to help us going forward,” said Sam Diab, president of Highbury Canco in his remarks introducing Trudeau.

While never mentioning the newly imposed tariffs, Trudeau did thank Canadians for supporting each other.

“This is who we are. We are there for each other in times of difficulty, in times of opportunity. We lean on each other, and we stand strong, and that’s what we do from coast to coast to coast,” he told a cheering crowd.

“There is so much to be proud of as a country,” Trudeau continued. “But the thing we have most to be proud of is Canadians ourselves. The way we step up, the way we lean on each other, the way we are creative, the way we are optimistic about the future, the way we look at challenges as opportunities to grow, to build, to be there for each other. That’s the message we’re celebrating on Canada Day.”

A woman dressed for Canada Day celebrations in Leamington, July 1, 2018 (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

A woman dressed for Canada Day celebrations in Leamington, July 1, 2018 (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

Many in the crowd say the growing global trade war with the U.S. makes this an extra special Canada Day.

“It’s important to be aware of what’s going on and support our country any way we can,” said Jake Kiger.

Others in the crowd said they plan to change their spending habits because of the tariffs and buy Canadian-made products wherever possible.

Annie Thompson-Bert is not Canadian. The Tecumseh, Michigan resident felt it was important to come to Leamington and celebrate Canada Day and apologize for the tariffs her President imposed on Canadian steel and aluminium on June 1.

“Last week, the [former] head of our national security agencies said the greatest threat in the world right now is Donald Trump and the United States, and you’re our brothers and our sisters,” she said wearing a sign that read “Sorry about the tariffs. Trump is a moron.”

Annie Thompson-Bert of Tecumseh Michigan celebrates with Canadians in Leamington, July 1, 2018 (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

Annie Thompson-Bert of Tecumseh Michigan celebrates with Canadians in Leamington, July 1, 2018 (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

On Fox News, Trump reiterated his threat to impose a 25% tariff on imported vehicles from Canada.

“I’ve been coming here for years, and you’ve stood by us,” said Thompson-Bert. “He did you dirty. You got a raw deal on the tariffs, and I’m hoping for the best. I’m with you. Most of us do not support this.”