Trudeau attends Ontario byelection rally
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Feb 09, 2016  |  Vote 0    0

Trudeau attends Ontario byelection rally

WHITBY, Ont. — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dropped into a provincial byelection Tuesday, where, according to the Liberal candidate, the party believes it has a real shot at the seat for the first time in decades.

The Ontario Liberals brought out the big guns in the final days of the Whitby-Oshawa byelection campaign even though the result of the vote won't change the balance of power in the provincial legislature.

Trudeau's participation comes after Premier Kathleen Wynne took a high-profile role in Trudeau's successful federal campaign, though it's unusual for a prime minister to wade into a provincial byelection.

But the party is eager to snatch the long-held Tory riding away from the Progressive Conservatives.

Christine Elliott resigned the seat in the summer, months after losing her party's leadership race. She had held the riding since 2006, when her late husband Jim Flaherty resigned the provincial riding to jump to federal politics.

"This will be the first time in nearly 30 years that we have a real shot to send a Liberal MPP to Queen's Park," Liberal candidate Elizabeth Roy said Tuesday night.

Enter Trudeau, who proclaimed to the Liberals packed into a Whitby restaurant that "after a decade of indifference and even neglect, Ontario now has an ambitious and dedicated partner in Ottawa."

Roy said in an interview earlier in the day that she has been talking to voters about how not only would she be their voice in government — as opposed to voting as an opposition MPP — and about how the Ontario Liberals now have a partner in Ottawa.

Trudeau touted his familiar "sunny ways" refrain Tuesday, saying it "trumped negativity and division" in the federal election.

"You'd think that people would have learned from that," he said.

"You'd think the people who were pushing fear and division might have said after Kathleen's win, after our win in October that maybe we shouldn't engage in personal attacks. Maybe we shouldn't be scaring people. Maybe we shouldn't be looking for fault lines to exploit and ways to divide each other."

The Liberals said later this byelection has not been marred by personal attacks.

Whitby-Oshawa voters go to the polls Thursday.

The Progressive Conservatives and NDP called Trudeau's appearance in Whitby-Oshawa a "distraction."

Polls have suggested the race is between Roy and Tory candidate Lorne Coe — both regional councillors.

The New Democrats hope MPP Jennifer French's win in the neighbouring riding of Oshawa in the 2014 general election is a positive sign for them, but candidate Niki Lundquist has been polling significantly below the Liberals and PCs.

By Allison Jones, The Canadian Press

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(6) Comment

By Brewster | FEBRUARY 10, 2016 11:23 AM
Just read the results of a poll taken there, Coe is at 40%, the Liberal is in the 20's. The drama teacher is going to have egg on his smiling face, it seems
By Garry | FEBRUARY 10, 2016 09:13 AM
Why in heck would PM Trudeau want to support any Wynne Liberal? What does the say about Trudeau? I guess posing, media attention and selfies trump scruples.
By Brewster | FEBRUARY 10, 2016 07:26 AM
Reading the world of negative comments relating to Wynne and Trudeau, it will be so interesting to watch this unfold. Hope Coe has been out there rounding up supporters.
By bil | FEBRUARY 09, 2016 11:32 PM
I am guessing that he wanted to take a drive in a volt to reduce his carbon footprint? Sunny ways is fine... reckless spending not so much.
By Spend | FEBRUARY 09, 2016 10:36 PM
Shouldn't PM Selfie be busy running the Country in Ottawa? The Liberals already have majority so the for PM Selfie to be involved in this bye election is ridiculous.
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