NDP leader Jack Layton brought his election campaign to Saskatchewan on Monday, telling people that the only way to get rid of the Conservatives is to vote New Democrat.
Speaking to about 100 party supporters in Regina, Layton was the first party leader to make a campaign stop in Saskatchewan.
"Here we are in the province where the first [Co-operative Commonwealth Federation]-NDP government was elected," Layton said, "They used to say to Tommy Douglas, 'There isn't a hope that the CCF, your party, will ever be elected.'"
No federal New Democrats have been elected in Saskatchewan since the 2000 election, when Lorne Nystrom and Dick Proctor won Regina-area seats. It's been a Tory landslide in the three elections since.
The Conservatives won all but one of Saskatchewan's 14 seats in federal elections in 2004 and 2008. The party won all but two seats in the 2006 election.
However, the NDP has high hopes to make a comeback, and Layton noted that in the last election, New Democrats came in second in most of Saskatchewan's ridings.
Voting NDP is the only way to defeat Conservatives and sends a message that "Saskatchewan will no longer be taken for granted," he said.
Layton also talked about housing, hiring more doctors and putting families first.
He accused the Harper Conservatives of turning their backs on Saskatchewan people dealing with last year's floods.
"You remember when they threatened to turn off the stimulus spending for flooded-out communities?" Layton asked.
In December, the government extended the original March 31, 2011, deadline for stimulus funding to Oct. 31.)
Following his Regina event, Layton was on his way to Moose Jaw for a rally at 3 p.m. CST.