After initially saying he would not be able to attend this year’s events because of the G20 meeting, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a surprise appearance at the Calgary Stampede on Saturday, the second last day of the annual 10-day event.
The Canadian leader’s visit was met both with excitement and ‘gentle ribbing’, something that was to be expected after Trudeau accidentally forgot to mention Alberta during his Canada Day speech on Parliament Hill. Speaking with reporters, Trudeau said “I got a couple of people teasing me for it, but no one’s made a big deal of it. It’s sort of a gentle ribbing. I think everyone understands that mistakes happen every now and then and the fact that I keep coming back to Alberta regularly to connect with people, to work on issues that matter to Albertans is something that I know people appreciate very much.”
The Prime Minister kept busy throughout the day by shaking hands, serving food at a pancake breakfast, visiting the Indian Village to meet with local Indigenous leaders, and not surprisingly, looking handsome in a cowboy hat.
Not only was Prime Minister Trudeau’s trip to Calgary full of fun and delicious Stampede events, it also included a very touching moment. After taking over office in 2015, one of Trudeau’s first initiatives was to find homes for displaced Syrian refugees, an initiative that Canada has led worldwide. On May 4 this year, Justin-Trudeau Adam Bilal was born in Calgary. Little Justin-Trudeau’s parents are Syrian refugees, who were welcomed to Canada along with 40,000 other Syrian refugees who have made Canada their home over the past two years.
As is customary in Syrian culture, babies are often named after either grandparents or ‘people of good character.’ The Bilal family went for the latter, naming the newborn after the Prime Minister who gave them, and so many of their fellow Syrians, a home.
The baby’s parents Afraa Hajj Hammoud and Mohammed Bilal fled their war-torn homeland of Syria and arrived in Canada via Lebanon in 2016. Trudeau met with the Bilal family, including baby Justin-Trudeau, at the Calgary Stampede, creating one of the cutest photo ops of the event.
The moment was captured by Prime Minister Trudeau’s personal photographer, Adam Scotti, with his images ensuring all Canadians were likely “Awwwwww’ing” at the same moment this past weekend. That is one cute baby.