Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Tamara Taggart speak to supporters at a Liberal nomination event in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday March 24, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ben Nelms

Trudeau delivers campaign-style speech while introducing candidate Taggart

The Order of British Columbia recipient said she wants to be the people’s voice in Ottawa

Justin Trudeau delivered a feisty, campaign-style speech in Vancouver-Kingsway Sunday night as he introduced former TV news anchor Tamara Taggart as the riding’s Liberal candidate in the fall federal election.

The prime minister fired off a flurry of verbal jabs at Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer, and also former prime minister Stephen Harper, giving a glimpse of what could be a heated campaign for the October election.

“Investing in people and communities is the way to grow the economy. Stephen Harper and the Conservatives still don’t get it. Andrew Scheer doesn’t get it either,” he said to a gym full of enthusiastic supporters.

“Under Stephen Harper, Canada had the worst growth rate we’d had since the depths of the Great Depression under R. B. Bennett.”

Trudeau then accused Scheer’s Conservatives of hoping to continue Harper’s policies by giving tax breaks to the wealthy while cutting programs for the middle and lower classes.

“They still think the way to create economic growth for everyone is to cut programs and give advantages and benefits to the wealthiest,” he said. “Well, that doesn’t trickle down to anyone and it didn’t work for 10 years.”

Trudeau pitched the upcoming election as an opportunity for all Canadians to step up and start talking about the kind of country they want to leave for their children and grandchildren.

“Do we want to invest in the middle class — shine on the world stage,” he asked, before warning that Canada “is seeing the rise of populism, aggressive, fear-based politics, just like the rest of the world.”

The crowd roared its approval when the prime minister suggested the best way to counter divisive populism is by recruiting “strong, compassionate people who’ve focused their lives on bringing people together and on empowering people.”

He lauded Taggart as one of those people from all walks of Canadian life who have invested in their communities in various ways to grow the economy, respond to the challenges of climate change and put Canada on the world stage.

Taggart, admitted feeling a bit overwhelmed and emotional at being on stage, especially seeing her children holding up signs that read, “Team Tamara.”

The Order of British Columbia recipient said she wants to be the people’s voice in Ottawa, adding that her media career made her a good listener.

READ MORE: Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

READ MORE: Scheer calls on Trudeau to resign over SNC-Lavalin affair

While Taggart steered clear of talking about the specifics of her campaign platform at the event, she has previously said that she wants to focus on affordable housing, protecting the environment while boosting the economy, and women’s health and safety.

She’s likely to face a tough challenge in Vancouver-Kingsway, which has been held by New Democrat MP Don Davies since 2008.

But as Taggart told her supporters, ”a woman can follow her dreams and achieve anything — anything she wants.”

Hina Alam, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tap Truck Okanagan launches as first location in Canada

The business is built on a restored 1957 Chevy panel van and ready to serve craft beer on tap, wine or cider

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

Police watchdog investigating Lake Country incident

A man was taken to hospital after the June 3 incident

Community backlash over Black Lives Matter rally in Kelowna

Some members of Kelowna’s black community stated they don’t support Friday’s rally

$30,000 over 30 weeks for local causes

Send us your good stories and you could win money for your favourite cause

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read