Manitoba

Pat Martin speaks out on Liberal campaign co-chair resignation

Winnipeg Centre NDP incumbent Pat Martin says he hopes the resignation of former Liberal Party co-chair Dan Gagnier motivates voters to abandon the party on election day.

'They've done a very good job in keeping this quiet,' Martin says of Dan Gagnier resignation

Winnipeg Centre NDP incumbent Pat Martin says he hopes the resignation of former Liberal Party co-chair Dan Gagnier motivates to abandon the party on election day. 3:21
Winnipeg Centre NDP incumbent Pat Martin says he hopes the resignation of former Liberal co-chair Dan Gagnier motivates voters to abandon the party on election day.
On Saturday at his Winnipeg campaign headquarters, Pat Martin addressed concerns over former Liberal Party co-chair Dan Gagnier's recent resignation. (CBC)

Gagnier, former co-chair of the Liberal campaign, stepped down on Oct. 14 after he sent a detailed email to people behind the Energy East pipeline with advice on how and when to lobby a new government — including a Liberal minority.

On Saturday at his campaign headquarters in Winnipeg, Martin said that he was "disappointed" but not surprised by the details surrounding Gagnier's resignation.

"We have an obligation to report to Canadians that a vote for Liberals is not a vote for change," Martin said.

"They've done a very good job in keeping this quiet. Clearly they knew all along that this guy was being paid for, and actively lobbying on the payroll of, TransCanada Corporation. They kept it quiet, they kept a lid on it."

Martin accused the Liberals of being in bed with "big corporate Canada," saying the party depends on support from "big oil."

"The Liberals are like an egg-suckin' dog, you know? They really can never change their behaviour or their habits. It's in their nature now after a 140 years operating this way," Martin said. 

"It's no wonder the Liberal leader's affection for the Keystone XL pipeline and his seeming affinity for the Energy East pipeline: he's got big oil co-chairing his election campaign."

Martin stressed that the actions and track-record of the Liberal Party, rather than just campaign promises, need to feature prominently in Canadians' minds come election day.

"Canadians' memories are kind of short. Some have been falling for the unicorns and fairy dust and rainbows that the party is currently selling, but judge them by what they do, not by what they say," Martin said.

"They'll say anything at election time and really it's the same old gang that's still running the Liberal Party of Canada."

In September, Martin spoke out on another contentious issue — the foul language he's used on the 2015 campaign trail.

And on Saturday, he stood by his language use.

"I don't call it negative, I call it animated and spirited and passionate," Martin said. "I don't apologize when sometimes the appropriate response to government issues is outrage. I've been outraged before, I've been outraged a lot during my 18 years in public office. Some things need to be spoken."

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