BRANDON — Smelling political opportunity, both NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau made visits to Brandon Wednesday ahead of the Nov. 25 Brandon-Souris byelection.
Mulcair devoted an equal amount of time taking pointed jabs at both the Conservative and Liberal parties.
Behind the blue door of scorn, there was Conservative candidate Larry Maguire’s decision to back out of the most recent debate after previously committing to it.
"I think that local debates are part and parcel of every election campaign and I know that (NDP candidate) Cory Szczepanski will be involved in all the debates," Mulcair said.
"The Liberals keep saying they want to start a conversation, but Canadians are tired of talk — they want action," Mulcair said.
One of the major planks in the NDP’s platform, said Mulcair, is to provide more reliable longterm funding to municipalities.
Speaking in front of flood-ravaged Queen Elizabeth Park, Mulcair said: "When you invest in infrastructure such as long-term flood mitigation, you’re actually saving money."
At Assiniboine Community College, Mulcair sampled cuisine from the culinary arts program, got a crash course in flood mitigation and checked out the school’s new sustainable greenhouse.
Next, he was ushered to the Ukrainian Reading Hall, where about 100 party faithful stood and applauded as he entered the room.
The partisan crowd enjoyed Mulcair’s continued shots across the bow.
"Canadians deserve better than replacing Conservative corruption with Liberal corruption," he said.
Picking on Trudeau’s recent gaffes, in which he said he admired the dictatorship of China because of its ability to turn its economy around quickly, Mulcair pounced.
"If you asked me what country I admire at a men’s or ladies evening," he said to a chorus of laughter from the crowd, "I might have picked one of the Scandinavian models."
Trudeau canvassed with Liberal candidate Rolf Dinsdale Wednesday.
The day began at Westman Lions Manor, where Trudeau and Dinsdale were greeted by about 40 people.
Trudeau spoke to the crowd of primarily seniors about his goal of counteracting the "tremendous cynicism that exists around politics these days."
The next stop was across the street at Victoria Landing seniors residence, where both Trudeau and Dinsdale took a few turns at a bocce ball game. The campaigning continued in Sioux Valley Dakota Nation.
— Brandon Sun