On his last stop in a three-day visit to California, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at Griffith Park on Saturday for an early morning hike.
The two men, wearing shorts and T-shirts, met briefly with reporters at Griffith Observatory. Garcetti noted that Canada was a major trading partner with the city.
“Mr. Prime Minister, it’s such an honor to receive you here in Los Angeles,” Garcetti said, amid overcast skies and cool temperatures. “We brought a little Canadian weather to make you feel right at home.”
“This isn’t Canadian weather,” Trudeau said with a laugh, not bothering to mention that the overnight low back in Ottawa was 16 degrees.
Garcetti thanked Trudeau for the time he spent connecting with key industries in California, emphasizing that the friendship with Canada is “critically important to us.”
“This is the largest collection of Canadians outside of Canada here in Southern California and we’re very proud of that,” Garcetti said. “It shows why these relationships are so important at a time when we need to have more bridges and more connections and not more divisions.”
Trudeau, alternating between French and English, answered a few questions from reporters. At one point he touched on immigration, calling it a “source of strength.”
“Canadians know that having a strong [immigration] process — where we ensure security, ensure that people coming are going to be able to be successful — is integral to keeping a strong system,” Trudeau said. “So that’s continuing to be my message on immigration, that we are are an open and welcoming country, because it’s our strength.”
“Amen,” Garcetti responded.
Trudeau emphasized that there has always been a strong relationship between Canada and the U.S.
“I continue to engage regularly and constructively with President Trump,” Trudeau said. “There’s things we don’t agree on, but there’s a lot we do agree on as well, and looking for common ground and trying to build shared prosperity here in North America is something we agree very much on.”
Afterward, Trudeau joined Garcetti for the weekend hike the mayor usually takes with friends and family. As the pair made their way toward the Mt. Hollywood hiking trail, starstruck hikers and residents snapped photos.
Monica Santino, along with Ron Basical and his wife, Kira, were outside the observatory when Trudeau passed and greeted them with a wave and a hello.
“He was super friendly,” said Santino, a Pasadena resident. “He seems very personable and very unassuming.”
Nicholas Rachowicz, a St. Louis resident, saw the prime minister on the hiking trail. “He’s a real charismatic leader,” he said, “someone really to look up to. We need more of that today.”
On Friday night, Trudeau spoke at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. A California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer accompanying his motorcade was injured in a crash after Trudeau left the library.
The officer was sent to a local hospital, where he was treated for moderate injuries. Trudeau and Garcetti told reporters Saturday that the officer was doing well.
The mayor said the officer suffered a broken clavicle, “but he’s going to heal, he’s going to be OK.”
On Friday, Trudeau met privately with Gov. Jerry Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom in San Francisco to discuss economic, healthcare and environmental issues. The day before, the prime minister lobbied Silicon Valley tech companies to invest more in Canada.
On the hike, Trudeau and Garcetti got a good workout and learned that they had a lot in common, Garcetti said. The mayor also managed to snag an invite to visit Trudeau in Canada.
“I might just take him up on that,” Garcetti said.