10/14/2015 02:45 EDT | Updated 10/14/2015 03:59 EDT

Brian Jean, Wildrose Leader, Urges Alberta To Vote Harper

The oilpatch is "very afraid of Justin Trudeau," said Brian Jean.


Alberta's oil capital is "afraid" of Justin Trudeau, says Wildrose Leader Brian Jean, who is advising Albertans to hold their nose and vote for Stephen Harper.

Jean told the Edmonton Sun that his constituents in Fort McMurray are "very afraid of Justin Trudeau" and what he would do for business confidence in the province.

"I'm very concerned. I'm really afraid. I lived here in the '80s and saw every business in Fort McMurray go bankrupt and the ramifications to the rest of the country were significant," Jean told the Sun on Tuesday.

Jean added that he believes Alberta cannot afford another National Energy Program (NEP), the industry policy that Trudeau's father introduced as prime minister in 1980. The NEP — widely despised in Alberta — famously attracted Harper to Conservative politics.

Trudeau has stressed that he has no plans to pit Alberta against Canada, Maclean's reports, but Jean is still wary.

Jean says Harper is the better choice for the province — even though he's not perfect.

The Wildrose leader emailed supporters on Saturday and wrote: "Stephen Harper isn’t a perfect leader. Wildrose doesn’t agree with him on every issue. But Stephen Harper is the only federal leader who will stand up for Alberta jobs and our economy."

The statement, which was published in the Calgary Herald, continues, "Anyone else will undertake policies that will hurt Alberta. If anyone but Stephen Harper wins on Oct. 19, it will be bad for Alberta."

He told The Sun that voters should "hold your nose or close your eyes" and cast a ballot for the Tories.

Liberal breakthrough?

Despite the tepid endorsement, a few Alberta ridings might actually flip from blue to red.

It's been 47 years since Calgary elected a federal Liberal, says CBC News, but three ridings in the city are leaning left in 2015 — Calgary Confederation, Calgary Centre and Calgary Skyview. Edmonton Centre might go Liberal as well, predicts a poll by Three Hundred Eight, which would bring the total Liberal ridings in Alberta to four out of 34.

A poll of 961 Albertans by Lethbridge's Citizen Society Research Lab found that 54 per cent of respondents intended to vote Conservative this election, while 20 per cent said they will support the Liberals. The survey was conducted Oct. 3-8 and has a margin of error 3.16 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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