Trudeau responds to accusations he is anti-Alberta
Justin Trudeau speaks to reporters in Vancouver on Nov. 23, 2012. (CTV)
Published Friday, November 23, 2012 10:36AM PST
Last Updated Friday, November 23, 2012 10:37AM PST
Justin Trudeau says he is sorry for two-year-old comments he made that have fuelled accusations from the Conservatives pegging him as anti-Alberta.
Trudeau’s remarks, made during an interview in November 2010 with the Quebec television show Les francs-tireurs, resurfaced in a news report Thursday.
When asked whether Canada is "better served when there are more Quebecers in charge than Albertans," Trudeau said the best prime ministers have been from Quebec.
In the interview, Trudeau said the country has suffered because Albertans control what he described as the "socio-democratic" agenda.
Trudeau apologized in Vancouver Friday for his comments and said they were not meant to offend Albertans.
“I was wrong to relate the area of the country that Mr. Harper is from with the people who live there and with the policies he has that don’t represent the values of most Canadians,” Trudeau said. “It was wrong to use shorthand to say Alberta when I was really talking about Mr. Harper’s government and I’m sorry I did that.”
The Conservative attack comes a day after a new poll was released suggesting Trudeau’s popularity is growing. The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey suggests Trudeau has the potential to siphon off votes from all parties, including the Tories.
Forty-two per cent of respondents said they'd be certain or likely to vote Liberal in the next election with Trudeau as leader. That's enough to form a comfortable Liberal majority government.
Trudeau's appeal was consistent across urban and rural areas and among voters of all age groups.
“There’s a sense that people are tired of being taken for granted by a government that is taking this country in the wrong direction,” Trudeau said. “The energy has an awful lot of Conservatives very, very frightened. When they get scared they do this, they attack, they draw out old comments and they try to divide and set people against each other.”
With files from the Canadian Press