Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Tamara Taggart speak to supporters at a Liberal nomination event in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday March 24, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ben Nelms

Trudeau delivers campaign-style speech while introducing candidate Taggart

The Order of British Columbia recipient said she wants to be the people’s voice in Ottawa

Justin Trudeau delivered a feisty, campaign-style speech in Vancouver-Kingsway Sunday night as he introduced former TV news anchor Tamara Taggart as the riding’s Liberal candidate in the fall federal election.

The prime minister fired off a flurry of verbal jabs at Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer, and also former prime minister Stephen Harper, giving a glimpse of what could be a heated campaign for the October election.

“Investing in people and communities is the way to grow the economy. Stephen Harper and the Conservatives still don’t get it. Andrew Scheer doesn’t get it either,” he said to a gym full of enthusiastic supporters.

“Under Stephen Harper, Canada had the worst growth rate we’d had since the depths of the Great Depression under R. B. Bennett.”

Trudeau then accused Scheer’s Conservatives of hoping to continue Harper’s policies by giving tax breaks to the wealthy while cutting programs for the middle and lower classes.

“They still think the way to create economic growth for everyone is to cut programs and give advantages and benefits to the wealthiest,” he said. “Well, that doesn’t trickle down to anyone and it didn’t work for 10 years.”

Trudeau pitched the upcoming election as an opportunity for all Canadians to step up and start talking about the kind of country they want to leave for their children and grandchildren.

“Do we want to invest in the middle class — shine on the world stage,” he asked, before warning that Canada “is seeing the rise of populism, aggressive, fear-based politics, just like the rest of the world.”

The crowd roared its approval when the prime minister suggested the best way to counter divisive populism is by recruiting “strong, compassionate people who’ve focused their lives on bringing people together and on empowering people.”

He lauded Taggart as one of those people from all walks of Canadian life who have invested in their communities in various ways to grow the economy, respond to the challenges of climate change and put Canada on the world stage.

Taggart, admitted feeling a bit overwhelmed and emotional at being on stage, especially seeing her children holding up signs that read, “Team Tamara.”

The Order of British Columbia recipient said she wants to be the people’s voice in Ottawa, adding that her media career made her a good listener.

READ MORE: Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

READ MORE: Scheer calls on Trudeau to resign over SNC-Lavalin affair

While Taggart steered clear of talking about the specifics of her campaign platform at the event, she has previously said that she wants to focus on affordable housing, protecting the environment while boosting the economy, and women’s health and safety.

She’s likely to face a tough challenge in Vancouver-Kingsway, which has been held by New Democrat MP Don Davies since 2008.

But as Taggart told her supporters, ”a woman can follow her dreams and achieve anything — anything she wants.”

Hina Alam, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VALLEY SENIORS: A second chance comes with enough memories for two

The Dietrich family makes its mark on Abbeyfield House in Port Alberni

Inquest into death of Jocelyn George postponed due to COVID-19

Coroner’s inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni woman was supposed to start July 6

Port Alberni’s Joe Hill celebrates 90th birthday with waves through a window

Retired accountant receives best wishes via Zoom, meets newborn great-grandchild

Alberni Golf Club reopens with new COVID-19 rules

J and L Mixed Scramble kicks off 2020 season

Help is available for Port Alberni businesses restarting after COVID-19 closures

Popular food truck finds a new location on Johnston Road

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Most Read