OPINION

Leader and PM come near to blows

The Canadian Prime Minister, Mr. Pierre Trudeau, and a trade union leader almost came to blows in a corridor in the Parliament building last night [March 24, Ottawa]. A crowd in the corridor stepped between Mr. Trudeau and M. Michel Chartrand, of the Quebec-based Confederation of National Trade Unions, as they glared at each other and exchanged abuse. M. Chartrand called the Prime Minister “A Christ of a liar” and members of his Government “goons” and “prostitutes.” The pair came close to throwing punches as Mr. Trudeau moved away after a heated conversation and M. Chartrand shouted that he was leaving with his “goons.” Mr. Trudeau, angered by the jibe, wheeled round and said: “I don’t need anyone to protect myself from you.” Earlier the Quebec labour leaders and Government Ministers had an acid meeting in a room off the corridor. As the meeting ended and the participants left the room, M. Chartrand said a youth was imprisoned because he insulted Mr. Trudeau. He did not elaborate. Mr Trudeau denied this and said M. Chartrand was inventing things. M. Chartrand then shouted: “You are raping the population. You are a Christ of a liar.” Mr. Trudeau replied: “You are truly a fanatic.”

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