REGINA — Liberal Ralph Goodale says there's a fundamental difference between Justin Trudeau and his father, the late Pierre Trudeau, and it's their approach to Western Canada.
Goodale notes that the younger Trudeau's grandfather was a longtime MP in the British Columbia riding where Trudeau held his final campaign rally on Sunday. He also says Trudeau has addressed western issues such as resource development and agriculture.
"His linkages to Western Canada are important. His dad did not have those connections, but he does," Goodale said Tuesday.
"He started his career and his working life in Western Canada. He is determined to be a prime minister for all Canadians, leaving no one out."
Pierre Trudeau alienated Western Canada and turned Alberta, in particular, into an electoral wasteland for the Liberals when he implemented the national energy program in the early 1980s.
The Liberals still struggled to win seats in Alberta and Saskatchewan in the federal election. Aside from a handful of ridings in Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Regina, the provinces went almost completely Conservative blue on Monday night.
Goodale was re-elected by a wide margin in Regina, but he will remain the lone Liberal MP from Saskatchewan.
Goodale has a unique perspective on the Trudeaus. The veteran politician has been working with Justin as deputy leader of the Liberal party since 2010. He also served in the elder Trudeau's government in 1974.
Over the years, Goodale has held the agriculture, natural resources and finance portfolios. He said he will take on whatever role Trudeau wants him to do.
"He has lots of people who have experience at the federal level, but also at the provincial level in cabinet roles, and he has lots of people who are brand new but bring great expertise from the outside.
"And I'm sure he will put together a very skillful combination that gives the new government all the depth that it needs and continues its fresh momentum."
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