A crowd of more than 2,000 showed up to see Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Medicine Hat on October 13, 2016 (photo by @braedencaley on Twitter)

Remember that time 2,000 people showed up to see Justin Trudeau in Medicine Hat? Yeah? That was tonight.

Stan Sakamoto

Stan Sakamoto

More than two thousand Albertans showed up to see Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tonight at a rally in the southern Alberta city of Medicine Hat. Mr. Trudeau was in town to support Liberal candidate Stan Sakamoto, a popular local businessman, in his bid to become the next Member of Parliament in the Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner riding in the October 24, 2016 by-election.

The riding is believed to be a very safe seat for the Conservative Party, whose candidate earned 68 percent of the vote in the 2015 election. Candidate Glen Motz is expected to win the election but the huge turnout at a Liberal Party rally should raise some eyebrows.

While a group of protesters, some carrying Alberta separatist banners, made an appearance at the rally, the large turnout certainly defies the Conservative and mainsteam media narrative about the hostility Albertans may feel toward Mr. Trudeau and his government.

Four Liberal MPs were elected in Alberta in the last election but before forming government, the Liberals had racked up an impressive record of increasing their party’s support in a series of Alberta by-elections, most notably in Calgary-Centre and Fort McMurray-Athabasca.

The Medicine Hat News on October 25, 1993 reporting on Kim Campbell's visit to the city.

The Medicine Hat News on October 25, 1993 reporting on Kim Campbell’s visit to the city.

There is a possibility that many of those Hatters who turned out tonight are voting for Mr. Sakamoto, but many may have just been curious to see Mr. Trudeau in person and listen to what he had to say.

I was surprised to learn that this was the first time a sitting Prime Minister has visited the city since Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Kim Campbell stopped by Medicine Hat during the 1993 election campaign.

Even during his nine years as Prime Minister, Conservative Stephen Harper never made the quick trip south of Calgary to visit the The Gas City!

Here is the full list of candidates running in the by-election:

Rhino Party: Kanye Cooper
Libertarian Party
: Sheldon Johnston [Twitter]
Conservative PartyGlen Motz [FacebookTwitter]
Liberal PartyStan Sakamoto [FacebookInstagramTwitter]
Christian Heritage: Rod Taylor
New Democratic Party: Beverly Ann Waege

25 thoughts on “Remember that time 2,000 people showed up to see Justin Trudeau in Medicine Hat? Yeah? That was tonight.

  1. Darcy

    Unfortunately, the support the Liberals may have thought they had in Fort McMurray-Athabasca didn’t carry over to the 2015 election and Yurdiga re-took the seat in a landslide. I’m not keen on the Liberals but I absolutely despise Yurdiga. Oh well, we tried 🙁

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  2. Doug

    I would assume some of the protesters were not from Medicine Hat, just as I would assume a number of the those attending the rally were not from Medicine Hat. Would not be surprised if a great number of them came from Calgary, and other areas so that they could put on a good front. Living in this riding there are very few that you talk to that have any form of support for Trudeau. Would be interesting to know the actual residences before anyone gets to impressed with the crowd.

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    1. R

      I am a liberal supporter living in the Hat. I am scared to death of the loud, crass conservative supporters I meet in person or online so I don’t say anything. I know this is true for many of my friends and family. It is sad that we can’t be open and honest with our opinions out of fear of our neighbors

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      1. JC Austin

        My extended family is difficult to say the least! They will not accept the fact that not everyone shares their conservative political ideals – they pounce and bully. It appears they don’t educate themselves and rely on material shared by The Conservative Party of Canada or Ezra Levant and then deliver it without fact checking.

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        1. HJ

          Do you understand what he was saying? Kenney rose and spoke against government of Alberta policies. He did tie it in to proposed GoC policies at the very end of his question, so perhaps Trudeau’s answer wasn’t quite fair, but it is hardly evidence that he and the entire Liberal party “doesn’t give a damn” about Albertans.

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    2. Bill Mitchell

      Although Medicine Hat definitely has more Conservative supporters there are a lot more Liberal supporters than there appears to be. We just don’t put ourselves out there as much because we get told to move out east and that we’re not wanted.

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      1. Doug

        Bill I think you see that commentary on both sides of the political spectrum unfortunately. Discourse has gone down and rhetoric gone up. People are polarized and their opinions disregarded.
        If it truly was a local liberal crowd, then kudos to them for the turnout. I have heard nothing but good things about Stan Sakamoto locally. Glen Motz is also a candidate with major integrity. (See the picture on the Motz facebook page of Sakamoto & Motz doorknockers posing for a picture together.) Good respectful campaigning regardless of views. I know many in Alberta are not happy with the policies and fiscal plan Trudeau has taken, but locally perhaps they can make the party more aware and have influence with the needs here. Will be voting Conservative, but nothing but best wishes on a good campaign and engaging in respectful debate.

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    3. Colleen

      I know that the libetal party sent invitations to popular people as far as Edmonton. I personally believe they chose a small venue (seating less than 1000) so it looked packed. We had many places that hold 5000 plus. Just another ploy to make it look “packed” with supporters. The protesters outside were reportedly near 1000. I was not there however so I can not confirm that. Our Liberal candidate has (again, not positive) never been in politics. Our newspaper reported today that “The taxpayers did not pay for Mr. Trudeau’s trip…the Liberal party did” LOL

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      1. HJ

        Of course they picked the venue to make it look full. Why wouldn’t they? Are you saying this was dishonest? And as for a MP candidate never having been in politics, that might be an argument against a candidate for PM or even minister of X, but it isn’t an argument against an MP candidate. Plus, he has been director of the Rotary club and trustee of the Art Gallery. Seems like some relevant experience. I’m with Doug. Seems like 2 good candidates and a respectful campaign. We need more of this.

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  3. Chris

    Doug,

    I was there, it was people from Medicine Hat. Stan has lot of support in Medicine Hat. I went to school with his kids. It’s outside Medicine Hat that I’m curious about.

    Trudeau was quite inspirational. A nice change from Conservative doom and gloom pessimism. They never used to be that pessimistic. I remember Harper winning minority and being very positive in 2006. What happened to the party?

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  4. Valerie cox

    Very proud of Medicine Hat coming out to support the Liberal candidate Stan Sakamoto! Great inspirational speech by Priminister Justin Trudeau… all my friends were there and we are truly proud of him! Way to go Medicine Hat!!!!

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  5. Judi

    I believe that the crowd was from the Hat but the tickets were also free, and everyone loves a free lunch. Before Stan threw his hat in the ring I thought Glen had it in the bag. Now I’m not so sure. Stan knows what it takes to balance books and perhaps he can teach Justin, who doesn’t seem to know what a real budget looks like.

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    1. Diane Marie

      Many people confuse what makes sense in personal or household finances with what is required of governmental finances. People and households plan for one generation. Governments have an infinite horizon and they should use their considerable spending powers to counter the business cycle, especially if the Central Bank hasn’t got much for monetary tools (the ability to use interest rates to generate or snuff activity, for example). Right now, government spending is what should be happening. Canada’s central bank suggested that the government use its fiscal tools. What didn’t make sense was what the Conservatives did before the downturn, which was to transform a structural surplus into a structural deficit. By the time they recognized or acknowledged that a downturn was actually happening, they’d unnecessarily gutted Canada’s fiscal capacity.

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  6. Sherill Holt

    Can you explain to me why Mr Selfie came to Medicine Hat

    other than to suck up to all the constituents for the Liberal candidate and did not ever show any gratitude in any way, shape or form whatsoever to the last candidate for his time, money and enthusiasm given to the Liberal party. Typically shows his lack of experience and and maturity.

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    1. Kyle H

      So you’re upset because Trudeau didn’t go out of his way to heap praise upon the former, currently not-running candidate from a year ago in front of the candidate currently running?

      I’ve heard a lot of lame partisan whining this year, but that takes the cake for sure.

      Reply
  7. S.H.

    Let’s remember that Medicine Hat has almost 80k people. Even if they were all local a crowd of 2k is hardly a drop in that bucket.

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  8. Chris Estevan

    Well i guess your huge support for the shady Trudeau didn’t materialize into much. “When we hear lefties talk about the 1%, we can only assume that they are talking about the NDP.” – Jason Kenney
    Make Alberta Great Again!!

    Reply

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