Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is joined by Minister of Environment Steven Guilbeault, left, and Minister of International Development Harjit Sajjan as they speak to students at David Thompson Secondary School in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday, March 29, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Trudeau visits Vancouver school, Ukrainian bakery ahead of Liberal fundraiser

Trudeau told a group of about 60 Grade 10s that teaching for him is a mindset he uses every day

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau jokingly warned students at a Vancouver school Tuesday that they need to be nice to their substitute teachers because they’ll never know when those former teachers might show up with a motorcade filled with police officers to back them up.

Trudeau was a substitute teacher at David Thompson Secondary School and told a group of about 60 Grade 10 science students that teaching for him is a mindset he still uses every day.

“Teaching for me was a path into everything else I ever did in my life,” he said. “It wasn’t just a stepping-stone, it is how I live every single day as a prime minister.”

At the first of two Liberal fundraisers at the Fairmont hotel in downtown Vancouver, Trudeau spoke about the launch of Canada’s Emissions Reduction Plan, which was tabled in the House of Commons Tuesday. It calls for the oil and natural gas sector to cut emissions by 42 per cent by 2030.

He said a student had asked what makes the new plan any different from past government plans that set targets that were never met.

“I highlighted for her that anyone can set a target. It’s good to (have) a concrete, ambitious and doable plan that matters, and that’s what we’ve been building for the past couple of years,” he said.

Earlier Tuesday, Trudeau stopped at a bakery owned by Ukrainian immigrants Iryna Karpenko and Sergii Kuznietsov. The couple moved to Canada eight years ago.

Karpenko’s sister, Tetiana Rozlach, 32, and her son Mykyta Rozlach, 11, joined them for the visit. Karpenko said they had arrived in Canada on Monday after fleeing Ukraine and plan to stay until the war ends.

“Canada is standing strong with Ukraine right now as Ukraine is standing strong for the principles that underlying all of our free democracies,” Trudeau said during his visit, before meeting the staff and taking home a freshly baked loaf of bread.

At the fundraiser, Trudeau noted that Canada is working with its allies and partners to stand with Ukraine.

“Vladimir Putin made a terrible mistake with far-reaching ramifications, but the mistake was (that) he completely underestimated the strength and determination of Ukrainians to protect their land, their culture, their people,” he said.

“If they had bothered to ask any Canadian, we would have been able to tell them how strong and ferocious and proud of their culture and heritage Ukrainian Canadians are. Why would Ukrainians over there be any different?”

—Brieanna Charlebois, The Canadian Press

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