ALDERSYDE, Alta. – Federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau popped up at an unexpected place on Sunday as he continues to drum up political support from voters.
Trudeau appeared at the annual Stampede breakfast hosted by Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Premier Alison Redford.
He shook hands with Redford and the two spoke briefly before he moseyed along to shake hands and pose for photos with a throng of people who turned out to chow down on pancakes, scrambled eggs and sausage.
“You know what? There’s a lot of Progressive Conservatives who don’t feel at home in the approach Stephen Harper’s extreme right-wing Conservatives are taking and I’m glad to be meeting with anyone and working with anyone and talking about the challenges we’re facing in the future,” said Trudeau.
“I’m glad to have a chance for the first time to meet with Premier Redford but I look forward to many good conversations in the coming months and years,” he added.
A spokesman for Redford said Trudeau didn’t call ahead before dropping in but it wasn’t a problem because “everybody’s welcome.”
Trudeau then dropped by another Stampede breakfast just blocks away from where Mayor Naheed Nenshi lives.
The Liberal leader made his way over to where Nenshi was cooking scrambled eggs.
“Hey hey — how’s my favourite mayor of Calgary?” Trudeau called out from behind the grill.
Startled, Nenshi said “Oh my gosh” and the two embraced.
Nenshi said he thought he was just stopping by his neighbourhood Stampede breakfast and wasn’t expecting Trudeau to show up.
After a few days of political calm as politicians banded together to support those Albertans devastated by wide-spread flooding a couple of weeks ago Prime Minister Stephen Harper dropped the gloves against both the Liberals and NDP in a speech to his annual Stampede barbecue.
“I’ve talked about the NDP talking about their policies in Washington in secret. The NDP doesn’t want to talk about their alternatives because their policies are so far outside the mainstream they don’t want people to know about them,” said Harper in Saturday night’s speech.
“In the case of the Liberals…they don’t want to talk about their alternatives because they don’t have any.”
Harper said both parties would remove Canada’s influence and power on the world stage and voters must stay clear of them.
“What I’m telling you friends that with the Liberals and the NDP what you see is what you get. Dangerous ideas on the one hand, vacuous thinking on the other and all of it would reverse the progress we have made.”
Trudeau, who was scheduled to spend some time volunteering in helping with flood cleanup Sunday afternoon, said it doesn’t matter what Harper thinks.
“Mr. Harper is focused on me. I’m happy to focus on Canadians,” said Trudeau.
“I’m not about playing partisan games right now. I’m very much about trying to meet with as many Canadians as I can and convince them politics doesn’t need to be a source of negativity, division or cynicism.”