Oops: Trudeau gaffe garners mixed reactions

EDMONTON — Manuel Goncalves has a message for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: My Canada includes Alberta, even if your speech didn’t.

Trudeau touched off a Twitter firestorm Saturday during his Canada Day speech on Parliament Hill when he left Alberta out of his coast-to-coast recitation of the provinces and territories.

“We may live in British Columbia, Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia or Newfoundland and Labrador,” Trudeau said.

“But we embrace that diversity while knowing in our hearts that we are all Canadians, and that we share a common pride in that red and white flag.”

It wasn’t until after he’d left the stage that Trudeau noticed the oversight, aided no doubt by a check of his Twitter feed and host Sandra Oh giving the province a shout-out. Trudeau jumped on the front of the stage, called out, “I love you, Alberta,” and blew a kiss, before sitting down and shaking his head.

“Maybe he should remember where the big money comes from for the economy. It’s the province of Alberta,” said Goncalves, who was among several thousand Albertans gathered for Canada Day at the provincial legislature in Edmonton.

“Without our energy, nothing moves, buddy. Nothing goes around,” he said, rubbing his fingers as he spoke. ”Simple as that. And for Justin Trudeau, smarten up, boy!”

Moments after the mistake, Trudeau tweeted: ”Got too excited somewhere over the Rockies. Sorry, Alberta.”

Yolanda Saunders, who was with her two daughters as they waded in the reflecting pool in front of the legislature, shrugged off the gaffe.

“I think it was just an ‘Oops,’” she said.

But it was a political mistake, one Trudeau will likely be hearing about for a while — especially given the fact that Alberta is home to some of his most powerful rivals in the House of Commons, and a place where for many, the Trudeau name has long been a dirty word.

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel, who represents a Calgary riding, wasted little time seizing the moment.

“On the day we celebrate unity, on the day we celebrate the things that make us better because we’re a strong and united country, he forgot our province,” Rempel says a video she posted to Facebook.

“You know what? I don’t care what political stripe you are, I don’t care how you vote. At the end of the day, if we’re going to celebrate the things that unite us, we cannot forget this province.”

In an interesting twist, the two newest Canadian astronauts Trudeau introduced Saturday are both Albertans: Jennifer Sidey of Calgary and Joshua Kutryk of Fort Saskatchewan.

Most of the people at the legislature were in a forgiving mood, chalking up the oversight to an honest mistake.

Just Posted

After death of 8th child, Ikea relaunches dresser recall in U.S and Canada

NEW YORK — Ikea relaunched a recall of 29 million chests and… Continue reading

Decision on Haitians’ status in the U.S. has Canada on alert for asylum seekers

OTTAWA — A decision by the Trump administration to end a temporary… Continue reading

European court opens hearing on recognizing same-sex unions

BUCHAREST, Romania — The European Court of Justice on Tuesday opened a… Continue reading

German police retrieve 100 stolen John Lennon items

BERLIN — A cigarette case, a handwritten musical score, three diaries and… Continue reading

Trump administration announces sanctions against North Korea

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration plans to announce Tuesday new sanctions on… Continue reading

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer: Nov. 19

Watch news highlights from the week of Nov. 13

Red Deer Christmas Bureau to help 1,300 children this year

Demand is high, but Red Deer always provides

CP Holiday train to stop in Ponoka for another year

The popular train will feature entertainment from Colin James and Emma-Lee

Kittens rescued after allegedly being tossed from vehicle

Couple finds abandoned kittens new home through Facebook

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Red Deerian honours her brother who died in a motorcycle collision

Houaida Haddad is encouraging Red Deer residents to donate blood

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month