Duncan, Harper engage in war of words
Jessica Earle, ctvedmonton.ca
Published Sunday, October 10, 2010 10:17AM MDT
Alberta's lone NDP Member of Parliament is speaking out against Canada's Prime Minister over the election-style remarks he made while addressing supporters in Edmonton.
When Stephen Harper talked to hundreds of people Friday night at a local hotel, he argued the country will see a coalition government if the Conservatives aren't elected as the majority the next time people head to the polls.
He also took direct aim at Linda Duncan's seat in Edmonton-Strathcona, saying his party is determined to win back the riding.
"The first thing the new NDP MP did when she got to Ottawa was to sign onto a coalition deal with the Bloc Quebecois," he said during the speech.
"The next election is going to be a choice…When the next election does come the entire future of this country is at stake… Let's be blunt: A far left coalition's only priority seems to be shutting down Alberta energy industry and putting thousands of Albertans out of work."
Duncan, who narrowly beat out longtime Conservative incumbent Rahim Jaffer in the last election, says she was surprised by the attack. Traditionally leaders take on other leaders or parties as a whole instead of singling out an individual MP.
"It's pretty low, low brow…for him to come to my riding and slag me on stuff that is not true," she said.
"He is obviously feeling vulnerable, maybe because I am the big orange slot that is spreading across the Prairies."
She says an alliance is not something her party is working towards, and expressed frustration at what she considers the partisan nature of Harper's speech.
"As far as this juvenile, continual calling us the opposition coalition - as far as I know nobody has said they want to be in a coalition right now," she said.
"Not a cooperative place I have to tell you. I'm totally disappointed."
While both the Harper government and opposition leaders say no election is on the horizon, those who heard about the Prime Minister's comments have their doubts.
"The whole tone of his speech was campaign style," said local John Hunka.
"The way he was talking [Friday] night, it's gonna happen."
With Files from Kevin Armstrong