Bernadette Jordan gives pep talk to local Liberals

Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development, speaks to Liberal supporters in Prince Albert on March 10, 2019. (Peter lozinski/Daily Herald)

Federal MP Bernadette Jordan spoke to Liberal supporters Sunday, encouraging them to keep fighting in the run-up to November’s federal election. Jordan, who is the Minister of Rural Economic Development, is touring Saskatchewan this week. Her Prince Albert speech highlighted what she sees as some of her government’s accomplishments over the last year. She also spoke directly to volunteers, encouraging them to get out, get door-knocking and build up support for the local Liberal candidate.

While at least one resident — lawyer Estelle Hjertaas — has expressed interest in running for the Liberals against incumbent Randy Hoback during the federal election this November, the Prince Albert Liberal Association has yet to formally nominate a candidate.

Jordan delivered a message of support for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. She touted changes to the Canada Child Benefit, which the Liberals say has helped lift 300,000 children out of poverty. She praised investments in rural broadband, which have ballooned past the original 300 to include more than 900 communities, and she spoke about efforts to increase trade.

“When we think of Canada now as a progressive country, a leader on things like trade, we are one of the only G7 countries that have agreements with all of the other G7 countries in terms of trade,” she said.

“We’ve had trade with China, that sometimes can be a bit challenging, but we are definitely moving in the right direction.”

She praised the signing of CETA, a trade deal with the EU, and the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Then, she said, there’s the “new NAFTA. A year ago this time, nobody thought that would even be possible,” she said.

Jordan argued that the Conservatives would vote against things like the Canada Child Benefit, for more money for veterans and funding for the military.

“I’ve seent hat first hand and I don’t want to go back to that,” she said.

“I’ve knocked on so many doors myself. I come from an area that was traditionally a conservative riding. There have been two Liberal members in its history,” she continued.

“If someone tells you a conservative riding can’t go Liberal I’ll tell you right now that it can. You need to get out and talk to people, and share the good stories, and share the changes that we’re making. THa’s going to make the difference.”

Jordan said she should know — not only is she only the second Liberal to be elected to her riding since it was formed in 1968, but she’s also only the ninth woman to be elected as an MP from Nova Scotia, and the province’s first female cabinet minister.

That brought cheers from the gathered supporters.

But that isn’t what Jordan wanted to celebrate.

“You know what’s even more exciting? When that’s not an issue anymore. When there are no more firsts, because it’s normal,” she said.

“I’m an extremely strong, outspoken woman. I make no bones about that, and I make sure that we have those conversations we’re supposed to have. Sometimes they’re tough. Make sure you stand behind your candidate. Make sure you get out and knock on doors … and continue to do all of the great things s you’re doing on the ground.”