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Saturday
Sep092017

Trudeau channels his inner cowboy amidst rodeo controversy

Twitter/@FP_Champagne(SAINT-TITE, Quebec) -- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau slapped on a Stetson hat Friday and channeled his inner cowboy at the Festival western de Saint-Tite in Saint-Tite, Quebec.

The annual two-week event, which kicked off in 1967, hosts a major rodeo competition and other cultural events. This year's installment was significant since it marked its 50th anniversary.

Trudeau tweeted photos documenting his visit.

He was joined by Canada's minister of international trade, François-Philippe Champagne, who also tweeted about the event.

Trudeau's visit Friday was not without controversy, though. There's a debate currently raging in Quebec about the welfare of rodeo animals. But Trudeau has said that most animals are treated well.

He told reporters at the festival of the debate, "It has to be done the right way. I understand that some people have concerns, but I think the vast majority of people understand that it's done with respect and care for animal health and safety."

The Canadian leader is no stranger to Western attire. As ABC News reported in July, he attended the Calgary Stampede in Alberta, where he got into the spirit of the annual rodeo and wore cowboy boots, blue jeans, a checked shirt -- and, of course, a Stetson hat.

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