MONTREAL - Justin Trudeau has come under criticism for his comments about Alberta in the place where he made them in an interview two years ago — Quebec.
The Liberal MP and leadership candidate blamed the country's problems on Albertans controlling the political agenda in a 2010 French-language television show that resurfaced this week.
The interview didn't make any waves in Quebec when it first aired but some pundits now argue Trudeau was out of line.
One newspaper columnist hypothesized about what would happen if the tables were turned, and Quebec were on the receiving end of such comments.
Yves Boisvert of Montreal's La Presse said Quebecers would be outraged if another high-profile politician made similar statements about their own province.
"We can easily imagine the howls we'd make if a contender for the leadership of a federal party spoke in such generalizing terms about Quebecers," Boisvert said in a column on the newspaper's website.
Boisvert suggested that Trudeau supporters should "start to ask serious questions about the quality of his political judgment, and his judgment in general."
To lump all Albertans together, as traditionally conservative as the province may be, demonstrates a "lack of prudence," Boisvert said.
A writer for the magazine L'Actualite said the comments could hurt Trudeau for a long time to come as he tries to make inroads in Western Canada.
"In one fell swoop, this particular interview revives doubts shared by many in Western Canada about the federal Liberals," Manon Cornellier said in a blog post.
"What should they believe? What Justin Trudeau said only two years ago or what he's saying now, as he seeks their support in his bid for the Liberal Party of Canada."
In the interview on Les francs-tireurs, Trudeau said that "Canada isn't doing well right now because it's Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda."
He also said Canada would be better served if there were more Quebecers than Albertans in charge.
Trudeau apologized on Friday, saying his comments were meant to be directed at Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who rose to power as an MP from Calgary.
His comment about the lack of Quebecers in power, he said, were an attempt to urge voters in Quebec to support a national party rather than the Bloc Quebecois.
The Conservatives have pounced on the old interview in the past few days as they battle with the Liberals in a hotly contested Calgary byelection.
While Trudeau has taken heat for the interview, some Quebecers believe it may in fact boost his popularity in their own province, where Harper's Conservatives remain unpopular.
"His comment could help him win votes here," a reader said on the La Presse website.
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Trudeau really stepped into it in Alberta eh? Quebec leader????
No one outside of Alberta cares that Trudeau dissed Alberta. But the appearance of favoritism for Quebec, that hits a nerve.
Trudeau said something bad about Alberta. Since when are cowboys so sensitive?
I'm from Alberta. Trudeau is right.
If anti-Alberta Justin Trudeau is elected, Western Canada should separate.
Anti-Alberta Trudeau interview reminds Canadians why the Liberals were voted out
Is Justin Trudeau still popular in Alberta today?
Part of me is offended by Trudeau’s anti-Alberta comments. Part of me wonders who are these nasty Albertans giving rest of us a bad name.
Justin Trudeau just keeps bashing #alberta. If you live in Western Canada and vote for Trudeau,hit yourself with a frying pan. #yeg #yyc
Hey to break it to the tories but if they attack justin trudeau as "anti alberta" it may work for him
Justin Trudeau found out what it's really like to play in the big leagues today. And Andrew Chantal and Bruce are eager to talk about it.
If I were Trudeau I would get out in front of this thing and challenge anyone to a boxing match.
I've watched a lot of TV on Trudeau's comments tonight but with rare exceptions, only non-Liberals speaking. What's that about? #cdnpoli
btw, it's comments like those from Justin Trudeau that convince me Alberta is better off as it's own country.
@petermansbridge all the dirty secrets will come out now. It's not even election time! Are the Cons threatened?
Long history of English reporters ignoring what happens across the river, my guess. MT @aaronwherry: How did Trudeau comments escape notice
I said it earlier and I'll say again. Justin Trudeau makes Thomas Mulcair appear sane. #cdnpoli #shinypony #tcot
To those upset by Trudeau's Alberta comments remember we have a Prime Minister who said Atlantic Canada has a "culture of defeat". #cdnpoli
Hold the phones everyone; a Liberal spoke out against western focused political interests. Honestly, I am stunned. http://t.co/VnTCtcJP
Let us all learn a valuable PR lesson: Tape never dies. #justintrudeau http://t.co/hwGkTe6a
Cause most LPC agree with western bigotry sentiments MT @SusanDelacourt: .only non-Liberals speaking Trudeau's comments. What's that about?
Aghhhhh Trudeau *palm face* CTV News: Conservatives seize on Trudeau's Alberta remarks as byelection fight heats up http://t.co/7KgYhFRB
Justin Trudeau caught on video with anti Albertan slant. SUN NEWS journalists will take turns masterbating to the video for the next week.
So Trudeau controversy asks if Laurier, St-Laurent, Trudeau, Mulroney, Chrétien were better for Canada than Bennett, Clark and Harper...
Trudeau should just come out and back the stamps in the grey cup. Problem solved.
#nevervoteliberal Ahhh...the old #Trudeau #Liberal #Quebec arrogance comes out again. Justin's comments on AB in 2010 http://t.co/vBtx30Xy
The govt now wants #LPC to fire Trudeau from his portfolio as critic for amateur sport, suggests 2010 comments were "anti-Alberta" #cdnpoli
TOstar headline: "Justin Trudeau faces uproar for alleged anti-Alberta comments" Alleged?! He said it! via @PartyOfSunshine cc: @shephardm
The NDP is jumping on the Trudeau Alberta comments, too. @nathancullen speaks to how great Alberta is #hoc
Trudeau anti-alberta bias- hardly believe he has changed his tune since 2010. He was raised by his father after all. http://t.co/7W1QPQF4
Wonder if Harvey Locke knows no good Liberals come from Alberta, according to J Trudeau. #tcot #yyccentre #yyc #abpoli #ShinyPony
Anti Alberta comments "Taken out of context" Justin Trudeau? Proves he is arrogant and delusional. #cdnpoli #abpoli #qcpoli