Trudeau’s Election Plane Damaged After Media Bus Drives Under Wing

September 12, 2019 Updated: September 12, 2019

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s election plane sustained some damage in Victoria after a media bus drove under one of its wings on the night of Sept. 11.

The plane had just landed in the British Columbia capital after transporting Trudeau, his team and several journalists traveling with the campaign across the country for Day 1 of the federal election race.

A bus was parked close to the plane to transport the journalists from the tarmac.

As it departed, it drove under the wing of the plane, making a loud scraping sound as the top of the bus slowly dragged under the wing.

Trudeau has a busy flight schedule planned for Thursday with stops in Kamloops, B.C., and Edmonton.

A spokeswoman for Trudeau says everything about the plane will be properly assessed, but for now, Thursday’s plans remain the same.

Trudeau Begins Reelection Bid

Trudeau launched his reelection campaign Wednesday, saying that Canadians need to decide whether they want to return to the “failed policies” of a conservative government that believes in cuts and austerity.

Trudeau kicked off his bid to remain in office ahead of an Oct. 21 vote after meeting the country’s governor general and dissolving Parliament.

“Canadians have an important choice to make,” Trudeau said. “Will we go back to the failed policies of the past or will we continue to move forward?”

Tall and trim, Trudeau channeled the star power of his father in 2015 when he defeated Conservative leader Stephen Harper, who ruled for nine years and was the most right-leaning prime minister in the country’s history. But the son of late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau could now be in trouble. Polls say the opposition Conservative party, with its unknown and untested leader Andrew Scheer, is running close to Trudeau’s Liberals.

Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers a speech before the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations in Montreal on Wednesday, August 21, 2019. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

Not since 1935 has a government that won a majority of seats in Parliament in its first term lost power in the next election in Canada.

“Canada has been a beacon and has tried to lead by example but it’s really hard to lead by example when you are Canada and you are by yourself,” said Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group.

Trudeau finds himself vulnerable following one of the biggest scandals in Canadian political history, which arose when Trudeau’s former attorney general said he improperly pressured her to halt the criminal prosecution of a company in Quebec. Trudeau has said he was standing up for jobs.

The scandal rocked the government and led to multiple resignations earlier this year, causing a drop in the leader’s poll ratings.

Scheer, the head of the conservative party, said Wednesday that Trudeau had lost the moral authority to govern.

“Over the next five weeks I will be explaining the reasons why Justin Trudeau has lost that authority and our alternative plan,” he said.

Conservative Party of Canada leader Andrew Scheer speaks at an event in Toronto on May 28, 2019. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is promising the premiers he will increase health transfers and a social transfer by at least three per cent every year. (Cole Burston/The Canadian Press)
Conservative Party of Canada leader Andrew Scheer speaks at an event in Toronto on May 28, 2019. (Cole Burston/The Canadian Press)

Trudeau will need to win 170 of the 338 seats in the House of Commons in Parliament to win a majority, but a minority government is highly possible. In that scenario, either Trudeau or Scheer would have to rely on at least one opposition party to pass legislation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.