EDMONTON - Liberal leadership candidate Justin Trudeau distanced himself Tuesday from an assertion by his party's natural resources critic that Alberta Tories have a protectionist, provincial view of energy policies.

Asked at a campaign appearance in Edmonton what he thought of reported remarks by David McGuinty, Trudeau would not comment directly but stressed his priority is national unity.

"My entire campaign has been about bringing people together, about not pitting region against region and about being a strong representative and a voice that says the same thing in Chicoutimi as we say in downtown Calgary as I'll say in Toronto as I'll say in B.C.," said Trudeau.

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  • Chris Quines

    So #LPC, it appears that you truly HAVE written off #Alberta. Anymore Liberal arrogance to impart? Thanks, David McGuinty. :) #cdnpoli

  • Dave Cournoyer

    MP David McGuinty's comments remind me of Reform Party comments made against Quebec politicians in the 1990s. #cdnpoli #lpc

  • Christopher Bataluk

    Got to love how David McGuinty equates what's good for Canada with what's good for urban centres in Ontario. #typical #cdnpoli #cpc

  • Albertaardvark

    While Justin Trudeau is in #yeg saying one thing, Lib MP David McGuinty is in Ottawa saying another: http://t.co/VFeuo3jQ

  • LeighPatrickSullivan

    Albertans not upset by idiotic statements made by asshat @DavidMcGuinty. Too busy asking 'who the f**k is David McGuinty?' #cdnpoli #abpoli

  • Alex Middleton

    Golly - more helpful and intelligent political commentary coming from #lpc http://t.co/Kdrqa1rg This divisive talk can't be productive.

  • Turner4YYC Team

    David McGuinty, #lpc MP not exactly helping drive a mature national conversation about the energy industry today http://t.co/Jhc8ueF8

  • wakeupalberta

    It is this Liberal vs Conservative CRAP that underscores why we need an honest borker! @theturner http://t.co/gyVW3wdf #yycCentre

  • Keith Silva

    Thanks, @davecournoyer, for putting the McGuinty rant in context. http://t.co/rV71owHS #yyccentre #cdnpoli #lpc #cpc

  • Dan Arnold

    9 Liberal MPs have flown to AB to help out in #yyccentre byelection. I suspect no one will be inviting David McGuinty http://t.co/4QWBFdYf

  • Robert W. McBean

    i'm bothered by david mcguinty's comments less than crockatt's lack of regard for open discussion with calgary voters. #yyccentre

  • Jon Wiseman

    david mcguinty has a hard stare.

  • Mike Seager

    "David McGuinty's role as official energy critic should make every Albertan worry." #cdnpoli #onpoli yep

  • Kevin Gaudet

    Dear David McGuinty: high tech Scarborough biz services pipelines - national benefits. Educate yourself.

  • Legacy

    @Crockatteer @PMO_MacDougall David McGuinty is disgusting.

  • DidYouKnow

    @davecournoyer @carter_AB @RobSilver Memo from David McGuinty: Did my comment about AB MPs screw up our chances in CGY Centre? #LPC

  • Joan Crockatt

    Xactly: "@PMO_MacDougall: Hey #yyc voters! Lib David McGuinty has news for AB http://t.co/Y2tePPyV. Only @Crockatteer will stand up for AB."

  • RodSmelser

    @Social_Dem How will Trudeau's CNOOC Takeover stance affect the #yyccentre byelxn? When added to David McGuinty's statements?

  • Average Ape

    #breaking: David McGuinty ensures he will never be considered for #lpc leader ever again. http://t.co/5IgV8EAO #cdnpoli

  • Mark Abel

    Lib MP David McGuinty says Alberta MPs don't belong in Parliament. Libs clearly haven't learned from their past with AB! #abpoli #cdnpoli

  • Dominic Terry

    David McGuinty should be ashamed of himself for his off-side comments about #AB MP's. #cdnpoli

  • Matt Hopkins

    Disappointed in David McGuinty's comments. He should apologize. #lpc #cdnpoli

  • Mike Pacey

    Hey, David McGuinty why dont u & your dumbass brother come over here & tell us that to our faces. http://t.co/NjA1wSh1" #cdnpoli #ableg”

  • DidYouKnow

    David McGuinty: "They really should go back to Alberta" referring to AB MPs. Cgy Ctr looks real good for Joan. #LPC is "tird" for a reason.

  • Rob Breakenridge

    I'm guessing @harveylockeyyc won't be inviting David McGuinty to come do some doorknocking... http://t.co/hE4YEI3h

  • Pierre Poilievre

    Shocking anti-Alberta comments from David McGuinty. http://t.co/ma0XSpCC

  • LeighPatrickSullivan

    So...David McGuinty is a bigtime asshole, eh? #tcot #cdnpoli #abpoli

  • James Valcke

    Sorry, that's David McGuinty tells Alberta to screw of.

"That's the kind of politics that I am trying to do here."

McGuinty was reported by Sun Media as saying that Alberta Conservatives should "go back to Alberta" and that they don't belong in Parliament unless they adopt a more national view of the energy industry. McGuinty did not return calls from The Canadian Press.

The comments sparked outrage in Conservative Alberta, where the Liberals are working hard to try and gain even a toehold. Trudeau has been to the province twice already and his leadership rival Martha Hall Findlay chose to launch her campaign in Calgary.

Joan Crockatt, a Conservative candidate in Monday's byelection in Calgary-Centre, quickly issued a news release invoking the ghost of Trudeau's father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau.

"This anti-Alberta prejudice is the same the Liberals had when they brought in the disastrous National Energy Policy in the 1980s that did tremendous damage to our economy and cost Albertans billions of dollars," she said.

"David McGuinty's role as official energy critic should make every Albertan worry."

The comments also set the Internet a-Twitter with vitriol.

Pierre Poilevre, an Ottawa Tory MP, called McGuinty's comments "shocking" while Calgary Tory MP Michelle Rempel challenged McGuinty to make the comments to her face in the House.

"Seriously, 'Go back to Alberta,' " she wrote. "Like it's some backwater, uncultured, non-entity in our nation. Unbelievable.

"Last time I checked, this sector was important to the entire country."

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