05/24/2013 10:01 EDT | Updated 07/24/2013 05:12 EDT

Federal ministers swipe at Trudeau during N.S. visit

Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau continued his swing through the Maritimes, drawing a large crowd of cheering fans to a Halifax mall Friday. But two federal cabinet ministers marked the visit with attacks on the Liberals.

Trudeau was swamped by people at the mall who were eager to take their photos with him.

He used the event to take a dig at the Harper Government and its handling of Senator Mike Duffy's inappropriate expense claims.

“Running out of town rather than face down Canadians, taking over a week to apologize, it really demonstrates the extent at which this government is tone-deaf,” he said.

At Dartmouth High School, Trudeau urged students to get involved and vote if they want issues they care about addressed by politicians.

Ministers take aim

As Trudeau rallied his fans, Defence Minister Peter MacKay released a statement, criticizing Trudeau’s visit to “our Nova Scotia.”

The statement said Trudeau represents a party that “created the much-hated, wasteful and ineffective long-gun registry, and massively slashed provincial transfers for health care and education that hurt families in all regions of Nova Scotia.”

“I hope the next time Mr. Trudeau pops by Nova Scotia for a visit, he brings more than a famous last name,” MacKay said in the statement.

On Thursday in Fredericton, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver accused Trudeau of not being supportive enough of an east-west pipeline to bring Alberta crude into Atlantic Canada.

Trudeau dismissed the attacks.

"The fact that the Conservative government is busy trying to contradict the leader of the third party in the house, as far as we are from an election, really indicates that they see - the way we do - that Canadians are hungry for something better and something more,” he said.

“Look at what is actually happening here, people are hopeful that we’re actually going to get a different style of politics.”