Niagara-on-the-Lake residents gathered outside the community centre Wednesday afternoon to catch a glimpse of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after he unveiled more funding for area municipalities.
The Niagara area will receive almost $14 million directly, Trudeau said during his announcement in the greenspace behind the community centre, “getting shovels in the ground for important projects.”
“Projects that matter to you,” he said, adding that the top-up will double the amount of money municipalities get through the federal transfer.
Most people standing outside of the community centre Wednesday afternoon weren’t there for the announcement, as residents crowded around to snag photos and selfies and to shake Trudeau’s hand.
Though the Niagara Falls riding hasn’t been Liberal territory for 15 years, Trudeau said he is working hard to “make sure the Niagara Falls riding turns red on Oct. 21.” Niagara-on-the-Lake and Fort Erie also are part of the riding.
He said he is specifically focusing on helping communities like NOTL, where he said he knows it’s essential to invest in lake water, public transit and housing. He’ll also be focusing on areas where there’s a tremendous amount of tourism, he said.
Before his entourage travelled to the community centre, the prime minister stopped at Silks Country Kitchen in Virgil for breakfast. He spent just over an hour meeting early-morning diners and snapping more photos.
Silks owner Joel Dempsey said Trudeau’s media team contacted him Tuesday to arrange for a stop in the restaurant.
“It was a pretty big production, there are a lot of people involved in it. It was bigger than I was expecting it to be,” Dempsey said.
His niece, Michelle Dempsey, said she’d never seen anything like the entourage that filed into Silks Wednesday morning to accompany the prime minister, though they have had celebrities in the restaurant on several occasions.
“I mean, it was pretty overwhelming. There are a lot of people that deal with him. The security and everything was absolutely insane,” Dempsey said.
And what did the PM have for breakfast? Just a glass of orange juice, she said.