Anti-Alberta rants hurt campaign: Liberal candidate

Liberal candidate Harvey Locke stopped by to congratulate PC candidate and MP-elect Joan Crockatt at her headquarters in Calgary, Alberta, on November 26, 2012.



OTTAWA -- Harvey Locke says sentiments expressed by Liberal David McGuinty helped dunk his campaign, but absolved Justin Trudeau for similar anti-Alberta comments.

"I think more the McGuinty comments than the Trudeau comments if I can be frank," said Locke, who lost to Tory Joan Crockatt by about 1,200 votes in the Calgary Centre byelection, one of three races Monday.

Polls showed Locke gaining ground on Crockatt until the criticisms surfaced and seized on by opponents who painted the Liberals as Western bashers.

"I think one was this week and one was two years ago so I think the two years ago stuff was out of context," he said about leadership candidate Trudeau's rant.

"I wish the comments this week hadn't happened," he said about McGuinty.

In a 2010 interview that came to light last week, Trudeau bemoaned western influence in Ottawa and argued that Quebecers make better PMs.

While Trudeau, a Montreal MP, offered what critics said was half-hearted apology, McGuinty, an Ottawa MP, resigned as natural resources critic for saying Conservative MPs should stay home for being oil industry cheerleaders.

Alberta Premier Alison Redford said the remarks likely swayed the outcome.

"I would expect it probably did have an impact," she said.
Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae said no one can say for sure what was on voter's minds when they went to the polls.

But "if Mr. Locke says that's a factor that he thinks was in their minds it could well have been."


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