POLITICS
07/03/2019 09:27 EDT | Updated 07/03/2019 19:00 EDT

Alberta Bar Gets Online Backlash Over Life-Size Justin Trudeau Pinata

Customers got a kick out of the idea, a Red Deer establishment says.

RED DEER, Alta. — The co-owner of a bar in central Alberta doesn’t regret hanging up a large pinata of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the Canada Day weekend.

Rob Newell admits, however, that in retrospect, securing it with a rope around Trudeau’s neck at Burgundy’s Bar and Stage in Red Deer could have been done differently.

“The only downfall was for structural reasons we had to Zip-Tie the rope around his neck because someone would hit it once, it would have fallen,” Newell said Tuesday.

Rob Newell via The Canadian Press
The co-owner of a bar in Red Deer, Alta., shared this image of a pinata featuring the image of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which was used in his establishment over the Canada Day long weekend.

The pinata idea was sound, he said, and customers in the bar got a kick out of it.

“We were putting together the Canada Day party and I said it’d be funny to make a Justin Trudeau pinata. We filled it with money, candy and little notes of things he promised. It was all just in fun,” he said.

“It’s no surprise that people in Alberta don’t like the guy, so I knew it would get some traction.”

There’s a lot more going on than a pinata at a party.Rob Newell, Burgundy’s Bar and Stage co-owner

Newell said if Trudeau came into his bar, he’d be served just like any other customer.

“I don’t hate the guy.”

Finding a pinata of the prime minister wasn’t easy, so Newell made it himself, he said.

“It turned out perfectly.”

Newell said he isn’t surprised by the online backlash, but noted there have been more bitter protests against the Trudeau government.

He pointed to a convoy of big rigs from Western Canada that drove to Ottawa in protest of a perceived lack of federal support for the oil and gas industry.

“I saw kids carrying signs with Trudeau on fire and I thought that’s a little intense,” Newell said. “There’s a lot more going on than a pinata at a party.”

Three years ago, when she was Alberta premier, a picture of Rachel Notley’s face was put up on a target at an oilmen’s golf tournament in Brooks, Alta. The event organizer said it was done because of frustration with the NDP government’s policies.

The target was taken down and he apologized a few days later.

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