Ottawa: Justin Trudeau’s re-election bid suffered a setback out of the gate when a bus carrying journalists collided with his campaign plane at a whistlestop in westernmost Canada, forcing him to fly a loaner Thursday.
According to reporters travelling with the Liberal leader, the collision occurred shortly after landing in Victoria late Wednesday on the first leg of a cross-country tour.
The media bus drove under and scraped the wing of the plane, they said. Trudeau had already left the airport. Pictures on social media showed a gash underneath the wing.
“There were no injuries and the damage to the plane is being assessed,” Liberal spokeswoman Eleanore Catenaro told AFP.
The mishap, she added, would not affect Trudeau’s busy schedule, which included campaign stops on Thursday in Kamloops and Edmonton.
A new plane was procured, but it does not feature Trudeau’s name and partisan branding emblazoned on it as did the original.
Commentators suggested that the accident was allegorical of Trudeau’s rough campaign start, in which he faced renewed criticism over his alleged meddling in the prosecution of a corporate crime.
“It’s only been a day and the Liberal election plane just got hit by a bus,” read one headline.
On Twitter, most appeared to laugh it off, with one post suggesting that Conservative leader Andrew Scheer was giddy that the “left wing was damaged” in the crash.
Scheer’s own plane had been rerouted due to fog on its inaugural flight from Ottawa on Wednesday, forcing the candidate, his campaign team and reporters to disembark midway and take an hour-long bus ride to his first campaign event in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec.
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