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

Cocooning pays dividends for local environmental group

A butterfly adoption program helps keep the Alouette River Management Society in Maple Ridge afloat

Maple Ridge redirects $225,000 from RCMP to community safety needs

A new manager and two community safety officers join a team patrolling the city’s downtown streets

Mayors welcome rideshare expansion into Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge

As of Thursday, Lyft is now offering service throughout Metro Vancouver

Maple Ridge Return-It centre serves as pilot for new beverage recycling effort

Haney Bottle Depot will be part of a six-month trial where consumers don’t have to sort their cans

Foundation seeks to bring ‘meaningful’ art to Hammond

Asking Maple Ridge residents for suggestions on design and theme for two large community murals

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Wanted Burnaby man arrested in White Rock

34-year-old facing 15 charges, including sexual assault

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

Most Read