Justin Trudeau targets Conservative voters in B.C. while still advancing marijuana legalization

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      Here in Vancouver, there's a perception that the federal Liberals are setting their sights on NDP voters in the next election. 

      It makes sense given that the NDP holds Vancouver East and Vancouver Kingsway, as well as five other Lower Mainland ridings.

      The Conservatives have only one seat in the city, Vancouver South, whereas Liberal MP Hedy Fry has represented Vancouver Centre for 21 years and Vancouver Quadra has been in the Liberal camp since 1984.

      However, it's pretty clear from the Liberal Party of Canada in B.C. website that a major goal across the province is to poach Conservative voters.

      On the Liberals' home page, there's an article by Stephen Fuhr, the Liberal candidate in Kelowna–Lake Country, in which he unabashedly lays out his right-wing political views.

      "I am a retired military officer and fighter pilot for the Royal Canadian Air Force," Fuhr writes. "I am a business leader. I am a Christian. I was born in Tory-blue Alberta and grew up in the B.C. Interior. I have never smoked a joint in my life, and I always voted Conservative."

      Fuhr decided to abandon the Conservatives after seeing how the prime minister lowballed the estimated cost of 65 F-35 fighter planes, which he feels are ill-suited to Canada's priorities. In addition, Fuhr cited the Conservative government's muzzling of scientists, climatologists, and the media, as well as Prime Minister Stephen Harper's battles with the auditor general, parliamentary budget officer, and Supreme Court of Canada.

      Meanwhile, the Liberals have nominated a former Vancouver police officer and Canadian Armed Forces regiment commander, Lt. Col. Harjjit Sajjan, to carry the party's banner in Vancouver South. Sajjan will never be mistaken for some sort of flag-burning, marijuana-smoking leftie.

      Anytime the Conservatives claim in the next campaign that the Liberals are soft on crime, expect leader Justin Trudeau to defend his party by pointing to Sajjan's candidacy.

      Tonight, Trudeau will likely trumpet his new candidate at a Liberal party dinner at Floata Seafood Restaurant.

      It's easy for voters to pigeonhole the Liberals as progressive in light of their support for marijuana legalization and supervised-injection sites, not to mention the party's opposition to air strikes on ISIS.

      Trudeau reinforced his progressive credentials by declaring that all new candidates in the next election must agree with the party's pro-choice position on abortion. But Trudeau also heads a party that favours the Keystone XL pipeline project and proudly promotes a candidate who voted Conservative in previous elections.

      Even though the NDP has drifted to the right in recent years and the Liberals have tried, at times, to swing their pendulum to the left, there are still some essential differences between the two political organizations.

      The NDP tends to be far more supportive of labour unions playing a larger role in the economy. And many of its members are more hostile to international trade deals than the Liberal rank-and-file. In recent years, the NDP has also tried to woo soft supporters of Quebec sovereignty, whereas the Trudeau Liberals have consistently adopted a harder line.

      At times, the Liberals have been farther ahead of the NDP on environmental issues, in part because Trudeau's party doesn't worry as much about alienating unions that represent workers in the natural-resource sector. However, that's changed with Tom Mulcair leading the Official Opposition and it's been the NDP, not the Liberals, who've led the charge against the Kinder Morgan pipeline project.

      As each party tries to woo urban voters over the next year, those differences might not seem quite so obvious at election time.

      Comments

      23 Comments

      I'm their target.

      Dec 18, 2014 at 8:38am

      I just wish they didn't have a phony pretty boy as a leader. His good buddy Gregor illustrates the problem with picking style over substance. I want a leader for this country not a figurehead.

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      Ron

      Dec 18, 2014 at 9:21am

      Trudeau is actually Harper-lite on major taxation and oil/pipeline policies.
      Trudeau - like Harper - supports;
      - the 15% corporate tax rate,
      - the sale of Nexen oil to the Chinese state oil corporation,
      - the export of raw bitumen, and good value-added Cdn jobs, to the US via the XL pipeline and to China via the Kinder-Morgan pipeline.

      Tom Mulcair opposes all of the above Harper-Trudeau policies - the difference, and choice - is clear.

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      don morris

      Dec 18, 2014 at 9:33am

      I'm a long time Liberal supporter, but am still disappointed the Party chose a name over substance.

      If Trudeau had ANY experience at ANYTHING,I would be glad to support him, but this kid has about as much life experience as Chauncey Gardener.

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      Non supportor of This Trudeau

      Dec 18, 2014 at 11:35am

      Like the one before him.
      Trudeau, instead of worrying about this nonsense and making a big deal out of such minor issues, YOU should be focusing on the big picture.
      FIXING the problems with Canada, that YOUR Father created.
      Never will I support you or your party.

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      The_Runner

      Dec 18, 2014 at 11:47am

      @ don morris, You must be a jealous guy because you do not have the last name Trudeau. I’m sure Justin’s upbringing will put him in good stead if he becomes the next Prime Minister of Canada. At least he doesn't have a personality disorder like Steve. People like JT and he gets along well with others! And besides, Harpo did not have any great life experiences to go by when he became PM. He has never worked a day in his life with a private business company. People like you Don, with such selfish attitudes will destroy Canada and we will be living in a banana republic before to long. You will be giving Steve his life long dream.

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      YaYa

      Dec 18, 2014 at 2:39pm

      All style, no substance. It's really hard to take this guy seriously considering how he is running roughshod over his own party. Remember "open nominations"? And really, what has he done except live off father's name. I mean what has Justin
      Trudeau actually done? Anybody????

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      MD

      Dec 18, 2014 at 3:55pm

      Still waiting for Golden Boy to explain why he voted for the Conservative mandatory minimums for grow-ops, literally months before seeing the light on the issue.

      It could not be that the Liberals are going to campaign left, and then govern right again, could it?

      No, they never do that, and certainly not the sainted scion of all that is Canadian Liberalism. He has great hair, who needs substance.

      After all, Liberals always follow through on every progressive promise they ever made, from our super awesome national day care plan, to that scrapping of the GST (good thing we have not paid that for 20 years), or the great strides taken against climate change with the one tonne challenge.

      Of course, who can forget the decriminalization of marijuana under Paul Martin in 2004.

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      MD

      Dec 18, 2014 at 3:58pm

      The-Runner
      "People like you Don, with such selfish attitudes will destroy Canada and we will be living in a banana republic before to long."

      Selfish?

      You would turn the nation over to an unproven dilettante with less than five years of employment on his resume simply because he is a Liberal named Trudeau, and others are selfish.

      You cant even build a case FOR him without chastising others.

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      @MD

      Dec 18, 2014 at 6:42pm

      Are you suggesting that other politicians have "substance"?
      Wikileaks has put out a leak indicating that CIA-associated a US thinktank has done a "reno" on at least one Canadian political party. Some sources indicate that intelligence groups control the "candidate schools" that Candidates go to, at least in part.

      All politicians who run in elections are figureheads. In parliament, they read pieces of paper put in front of them by other people. If you don't like the Liberal Party handlers, that is fine, but to take seriously the idea that a media figure runs the party is silly, naive.

      If your end point is that there's nobody worth voting for, sure, I'll buy that. If your argument is that Harper is better because he has "experience", well, I am sure you know you are not voting for his experience; you are voting for his handlers, whoever they may be.

      I agree that Trudeau is vapid, but that is mostly because I think that of any politician.

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