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'Intense vitriol and attacks': Trudeau separation draws backlash, sympathy from Canadians

Canadians are showing a wide range of emotions after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau formally announced their separation.

'Intense vitriol and attacks': Trudeau separation draws backlash, sympathy from Canadians

Canadians reacted with a flurry of social media posts in the wake of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau's formal separation announcement on Wednesday. The pair announced on social media that they were officially separating following 18 years of marriage.

"Hi everyone, Sophie and I would like to share the fact that after many meaningful and difficult conversations, we have made the decision to separate," reads a statement posted by Trudeau on social media.

An official statement released by the Prime Minister's Office said Trudeau and Grégoire have "signed a legal separation agreement" and the pair "have worked to ensure that all legal and ethical steps with regards to their decision to separate have been taken, and will continue to do so moving forward.”

Public reaction to the Trudeaus separation

The prime minister and his wife's formal announcement of separation made headlines around the world and garnered a strong buzz on social media.

Some kinder messages offered up words of support for the family, as separation is a difficult process for anyone. Others pointed to how any marriage would be made difficult given all the hardships that the prime minister faced throughout his time in office.

One social media user highlighted the overwhelming amount of hate tweets and conspiracy-based responses Trudeau's announcement received, by stating "all the hate and accusations towards the Prime Minister of Canada during difficult times is just pathetic & not the country I grew up in."

Others put it more simply: "It's none of our business."

Following the news, founder and leader of the People's Party of Canada (PPC) Maxime Bernier posted a tweet stating the notice of separation doesn't matter, and what matters is "he leaves the office of the prime minister."

Others simply stated that they felt absolutely "no sympathy" for Canada's leader, along with his family. Instead, some pointed to their own suffering.

It continues a wave of hate that's followed the prime minister, sometimes displayed through the "F*** Trudeau" flag.

Amid all the sympathy and backlash, one social media user offered up the question if news of the separation will influence the impression the public has of the prime minister.

And amid the major news that's dominated headlines, others are also looking to shine on light on important issues in the day-to-day lives of Canadians.

A look back at the Trudeau marriage

Trudeau, 51, and Grégoire, 48, officially tied the knot in a Montreal church in May 2005 and during their 18 years of marriage, had three children together — two sons, Xavier, 15, and Hadrien, nine, and one daughter, 14-year-old Ella-Grace.

Grégoire, a former media personality, stunned the public when they first laid eyes on the glowing bride — dressed in a simple low-cut floral gown with a long veil trailing behind her. Trudeau was dressed in a gold tuxedo with gold silk stripes and upon emerging from the ceremony in the chapel, stepped into a 1959 Mercedes 300 SL, formerly belonging to Trudeau’s father.

Justin Trudeau, son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, leaves with his new bride Sophie Gregoire in his father's 1959 Mercedes 300 SEL after their marriage ceremony in Montreal Saturday, May 28, 2005.(CP PHOTO/Ryan Remiorz)
Justin Trudeau, son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, leaves with his new bride Sophie Gregoire in his father's 1959 Mercedes 300 SEL after their marriage ceremony in Montreal Saturday, May 28, 2005.(CP PHOTO/Ryan Remiorz)

While the prime minister and his wife portrayed a united front to the public, Grégoire said in an interview with Global News in 2015, that “no marriage is easy,” and that she was “almost kind of proud of the fact that we’ve had hardship,”

The pair's last public appearance together was during Canada Day 2023 in Ottawa.