Calgary

Harvey Locke downplays McGuinty’s Alberta comments

The Liberal candidate in Calgary Centre is downplaying the comments that forced Liberal MP David McGuinty to step down from his role as the party's energy critic.

Tight race for Calgary riding

9 years ago
2:35
The Liberals and Greens are threatening the traditionally Conservative riding of Calgary Centre in Monday's federal byelection 2:35

The Liberal candidate in Calgary Centre is downplaying the comments that forced Liberal MP David McGuinty to step down from his role as the party's energy critic.

McGuinty has apologized and resigned his role as Liberal natural resources critic following comments he made in the media suggesting Alberta Conservative MPs weren't fit to sit in Parliament if they didn't hold a "national vision" on energy policy.

But Liberal candidate Harvey Locke says McGuinty’s comments mean nothing and that the comment was an aberration.

Liberal candidate Harvey Locke says David McGuinty’s comments mean nothing and that the comment was an aberration. (CBC)

Locke also doesn't expect the fallout to affect the byelection on Monday.

"If you want to come to the hockey rink, you're going to get a few elbows and you can still win the Stanley Cup," Locke said.

Mount Royal University's Lori Williams says momentum in this campaign has been to the centre and to the left — away from Conservative Joan Crockett.

"I don't think McGuinty's remarks are going to shift that momentum," Williams said. "The question is if it diminishes support for the Liberal candidate and some of those people defect to the Green candidate is significant enough numbers to split the vote, then the Conservatives could win anyway."

Other candidates running against Locke and Crockatt in Monday's byelection are Chris Turner of the Green Party, Dan Meades of the NDP, Tony Prashad from the Libertarian Party and Antoni Grochowski as an independent.

"Tired of Albertans"

There are reports that Liberal leadership candidate Justin Trudeau told a Quebec TV station in 2010 that he was tired of Albertans running the country. 

He was then asked if Canada was better served when there were more Quebecers in power and he replied: "Of course I do, I'm a Liberal."

Conservative Calgary MP Jason Kenney reacted on Thursday.

"What these quotes refer to, which we’ve seen for the first time, is a willingness for the drop of a hat to attack Canadians where they come from, to divide rather than unite — completely contradicting what he has been saying about the nature of his leadership campaign," Kenney said.

Meanwhile, Trudeau's campaign is accusing the Conservatives of resorting to smear tactics by using statements that are out of context and made years ago.

Trudeau’s campaign also says the Tories are worried about losing the byelection in Calgary Centre.

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