‘If you aspire to be PM you should plan to represent entire country.’
MP Scott Armstrong (right) is upset with comments made by Liberal MP and party leadership candidate Justin Trudeau. The comments, made in an interview two years ago on French language television, suggest the country's best prime ministers have all come from Quebec.
OTTAWA – Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley MP Scott Armstrong feels that Liberal leadership hopeful Justin Trudeau has some explaining to do.
Responding to a November 2010 interview with a Quebec television show in which Trudeau says Canada is better off when Quebecers are running the country, Armstrong said
“If you aspire to be a prime minister you should plan to represent the entire country and not one region over another,” Armstrong said. “To say this country belongs to us, meaning one section of the country, is an insult to every Canadian, even if they are from Quebec.”
In the interview, conducted in French, but aired by Sun TV on Thursday, Trudeau said he is tired of Albertans running the country. He said Canada isn’t working because Albertans are controlling the “community and socio-economic agenda.”
During the interview with Patrick Lagace on the Tele-Quebec program Les francs-tireurs, Trudeau said the prime ministers that stood the test of time where MPs from Quebec.
He added, “This country – Canada – it belongs to us.”
Armstrong called Trudeau’s comments despicable and said just because someone isn’t from Quebec should not mean he or she in unable to serve as prime minister.
“We’ve had many excellent prime ministers from outside Quebec, one being Sir Charles Tupper from this riding,” Armstrong said. “What he said is someone like Sir Charles Tupper or Robert Stanfield cannot lead Canada because they’re not from Quebec.”
Armstrong said he plans on raising the issue with Trudeau when he returns to the House of Commons. Trudeau has been campaigning in western Canada in hopes of become the leader of the Liberal Party.
Trudeau apologized for the comments on Friday, but said the quotes were misinterpreted. He said he was attempting to critize Prime Minister Stephen Harper and not Albertans.
The release of Trudeau’s interview from two years ago comes as Liberal MP David McGuinty resigned as the party’s natural resources critic after accusing Alberta Conservative MPs of “shilling” for that province’s oil and gas industry.