Canada Politics

Donning a cowboy hat and flipping pancakes: Justin Trudeau aims to woo Albertans

Canada Politics

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Justin Trudeau at a Stampede breakfast

It's no secret that over the past two or three elections, the Liberal Party brand has taken a beating in Western Canada.

In the last election the federal Grits only won four seats west of Ontario.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau is on a mission to turn things around: On Saturday, he was in Saskatchewan and Sunday in Calgary.

"Politics these days...[involves] an awful lot of dividing people, attacks, an awful lot of negativity but as we've seen [in Calgary] people want to come together and help out and build a better future," Trudeau told reporters after a Stampede pancake breakfast hosted by Liberal MLA Darshan Kang.

"I'm getting great response right across the country but I'm especially touched how people are coming forward...all across the west to say that they want a better kind of government than we are getting right now."

Trudeau also said that he's probably been to "the West" a dozen times over the past year.

[ Related: Harper slams Liberals, NDP in speech at annual Stampede BBQ ]

And if you believe the pollsters, the frequent trips are helping the federal brand.

Since Trudeau won the leadership in April, the federal party is polling at 29.9 per cent in British Columbia, 24.1 per cent in Alberta and 26.8 per cent in the Prairies. Not great numbers but better than they were just months ago.

MLA Kang says that he's also sensing a resurgence of support for the Alberta Liberal Party — thanks, in part, to Trudeau.

"I think he definitely does help with the Liberal brand," he told Yahoo! Canada News.

"I think he does right across the country."

[ Related: Is Justin Trudeau getting a free ride by the media? ]

As part of his Stampede event schedule, Trudeau also crashed Alberta Premier Alison Redford's breakfast on Sunday morning. (Redford, of course, is the leader of the province's Progressive Conservatives.)

"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," Trudeau said according to the Canadian Press.

On Sunday afternoon, the federal Liberal leader was scheduled to get his hands dirty and help out with flood clean-up efforts — the media was asked to stay away.

(Photo by Andy Radia)

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