Credits: Mark Wanzel The Barrie Examiner QMI
WINNIPEG — Federal Liberal leadership candidate Alex Burton was in Oak Bluff, a community just southwest Winnipeg, Saturday to talk “Manitoba Matters.”
Burton, a Crown prosecutor in B.C., is making his way across Canada by way of small towns to draw attention to his campaign in a crowded field.
He got an earful of local issues at a policy conference in the community.
“It’s part of, as I see it, the process of rebuilding the Liberal party, in particular trying to build the Liberal party in places like Manitoba, from the ground up,” Burton said. “If we’re going to rebuild the Liberal brand in Western Canada we need to get out and speak to people.”
Burton was emphatic that rural Canada needs to be a major player in politics, citing that one in eight jobs in Canada is in agribusiness, and the sector generates $43 billion in economic activity.
“We need to make sure that rural Canada is recognized as the pillar of economy that it is,” Burton said.
He said the process by which the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly ended was “problematic,” but stopped short of saying it was a mistake.
So far, Justin Trudeau, Montreal MP Marc Garneau and former MP Martha Hall Findlay are the front-runners in the race.
Lesser-known candidates include Quebec farmer Rene Roy, Toronto lawyer George Takach, retired Canadian Forces Lt.-Col. Karen McCrimmon, Toronto lawyer and public-policy consultant Deborah Coyne, Ottawa lawyer David Bertschi, Ontario economist Jonathan Mousley and former B.C. Liberal president David Merner.