POLITICS
09/12/2019 18:00 EDT

A Media Bus Also Hit Pierre Trudeau’s Campaign Plane 40 Years Ago

Plus three other times Canadian election transportation went wrong.

Canadian Press / @robsilver/Twitter
A composite image showing the aftermath of a media bus hitting the Trudeau campaign in 2019 and 1980.

Justin Trudeau’s federal election campaign has been forced to get a new plane after the Liberal party’s chartered aircraft was damaged Wednesday night in a minor collision with a bus at the Victoria airport.

The bus, ferrying the media to a hotel for the night, drove too close to the plane and caused visible damage to the underside of a wing.

Here’s a look at some other travel mishaps on Canadian election campaigns.

Like father, like son

In 1980, there was a similar accident on the campaign trail of Trudeau’s father, Pierre, when a bus carrying media and staffers crashed into the federal Liberal party’s plane on the airport tarmac in Winnipeg.

“It was just absolutely bizarre,” radio broadcaster Jim Maclean recalled in a 2015 interview with the website iPolitics. “The wing of the plane came through the window above the bus driver’s head with a great shattering of glass.”

Trudeau was put on a commercial flight to his next event in southern Ontario, which was delayed several hours.

No one was hurt, but damage was estimated to be about $10,000.

Summer tour bus blues

In advance of the 2011 federal election, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff launched a summer bus tour to fire up the party’s sputtering engine in a fight against the Conservatives under Stephen Harper, who was prime minister at the time.

But on Day 1, the Liberal Express bus, loaded with journalists, MPs, eager young staffers and Ignatieff suddenly ground to a halt on a rural road near Hawkesbury, Ont. The transmission was blown.

An hour later, Ignatieff and the media were shuttled in cars and vans to a waiting crowd of 300 Liberals.

“We had a little bump in the road near Hawkesbury,” Ignatieff told supporters. “There’s a little rumour circulating that Stephen Harper was seen stealing away in the night with motor oil on his hands.”

The wheels on the bus

When then-Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith was making a drive for power in Alberta in 2012, the unveiling of her campaign bus was overshadowed by an unfortunate placement of her photo.

The bus included a large picture of Smith on the side, indelicately placed with two rear wheels over her chest.

The Canadian Press
Alberta Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith unveiled her party's campaign bus in Edmonton in 2012, shown in a photo taken from Twitter.

Photos of the bus went viral on social media and were noted by late-night comedian Jay Leno on the “Tonight Show.”

Smith and the party laughed off the situation and the bus was taken off the road so her picture could be moved.

Sovereigntists get lost

In 1997, Gilles Duceppe was on his first federal campaign as leader of the Bloc Quebecois after the sovereigntist party’s first leader, Lucien Bouchard, jumped to provincial politics.

One campaign appearance was delayed by an hour after a bus carrying the media accompanying Duceppe got lost on Quebec’s back roads.

The Canadian Press
Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe listens to a question during a news conference in Montreal on October 20, 2015, a day after being defeated in his riding in that year's federal election.

The Montreal Gazette reported that a fuming Duceppe fired the bus driver and two low-level aides after the snafu.

There were other struggles for Duceppe on that campaign.

A photo of the Bloc leader wearing a hair net as he toured a cheese factory dogged him for years and became his signature accessory in editorial cartoons.