Justin Trudeau's campaign, 2nd to reach the skies, heads to P.E.I.

Justin Trudeau christened his new campaign plane Monday with a brief trip to Prince Edward Island — and the only riding in the province his party didn’t hold going into this election.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau waves from the Liberal campaign plane in Toronto on Monday, before departing for Atlantic Canada. (Tom Parry/CBC)

Justin Trudeau christened his new campaign plane Monday with a brief trip to Prince Edward Island — and the only riding in the province his party didn't hold going into this election.

The Liberals are hoping to sweep all four seats in P.E.I. by taking Egmont from Conservative Gail Shea, who won easily in the last election by a margin of more than 4,000 votes.

Trudeau, addressing a crowd of roughly 300 supporters at a brief stop in Summerside, took digs at Conservative Leader Stephen Harper who endured a hard day on the campaign trail.

"He's out of touch. He doesn't know what's really going on. He can't be bothered to find out," Trudeau told the crowd.

"A perfect example is he didn't bother to find out about the past of two of his candidates — and he lost them today."

"But really," he added, "Is that so surprising from a man who still believes that Mike Duffy is a Prince Edward Islander?"

The Conservatives saw two of their candidates forced to step down Monday after they became embroiled in controversy.

Tim Dutaud, the party's representative in Toronto-Danforth, quit after it was discovered he had produced crude prank videos which were posted online.

It came just hours after Jerry Bance, the Conservative candidate in the riding of Scarborough-Rouge Park, after video emerged from 2012 investigation by the CBC program Marketplace. It showed Bance, who was then working as a service technician, urinating in a coffee cup while working in a customer's home and then dumping the cup in the kitchen sink.

Trudeau characterized the Conservative government as one that was "out of ideas and out of steam." He also attacked the NDP and Tom Mulcair and his promise to balance the federal budget.

"Canadians are smart enough to do the math," Trudeau said. "They know you can't be Tommy Douglas on Stephen Harper's budget."

Trudeau's supporters, who have seen the NDP seize top spot in several polls, cheered on Trudeau's jabs at his opponents.

"The campaign is just picking up now," said longtime Liberal MP Wayne Easter, who is running for re-election in Malpeque.

"There's no question the ads against Justin have had some impact. But I think the public will see how wrong those ads were. Justin is ready."

Gabe and Eileen Keough, who came to hear Trudeau speak, say people have been impressed by Mulcair's ability to question Harper and put him "on the spot" in the House of Commons.

They both think, as election day approaches, more voters will come back to the Liberals. Though even they admit winning won't be easy.

"Right from the first time he came out, I knew he [Trudeau] would be the next prime minister. I felt he was going to be the next prime minister of Canada," Eileen Keogh said.

"We just can't bet our house on it," added Gabe.


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