Trudeau offers a blunt speech to supporters in Edmonton

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau landed in Edmonton Thursday for a rally and stump-style speech to supporters.

Although the party’s campaign plane was damaged Wednesday night after a collision with a media bus on the tarmac in Victoria, BC, Trudeau’s team was able to fly to Edmonton on a new Air Transat plane.

Hundreds of party supporters came to the campaign rally despite being greeted by a handful of demonstrators outside the venue expressing support for the oil and gas industry.

Thursday’s visit was in riding Edmonton Strathcona, where NDP incumbent Linda Duncan is not seeking re-election.

The rally opened with a brief introduction from local candidate Eleanor Olszewski and ended with liberal candidates on stage, including two MPs seeking re-election: Amarjeet Sohi and Randy Boissonnault.

Trudeau opened his speech by asking “Are there any Liberals in Edmonton?” to loud cheers from the fans.

Thursday’s speech at the Westbury Theater highlighted Liberal Party’s welfare programs like Canada’s child support while shooting down the former Conservative government under Stephen Harper.

“Our team opposed conservative cuts and austerity and chose instead to invest in the middle class and people who are working hard to join them,” Trudeau said.

Trudeau did not mention the Conservative leader Andrew Scheer by name, but drew comparisons between the current Conservative leader and Harper.

Trudeau also highlighted investments in Canada’s energy sector, specifically mentioning the government’s purchase of the Trans Mountain Expansion project.

The Liberal leader’s visit to Edmonton took place on the same night as the first federal party leader debate, in which Trudeau did not attend.

All three took the opportunity to condemn Trudeau’s decision to skip the debate, accusing him of lacking the courage to defend his record.

“[Trudeau’s] The record is pretty miserable, but that doesn’t mean he should give up the debate, “Singh told reporters.

Earlier in the day, during a campaign stop in Victoria, Trudeau announced a commitment to expand the incentive program for first-time home buyers.

Trudeau’s next campaign event is scheduled for Friday in Trois Rivieres, Que.

The election will take place on October 21.

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