The federal Liberals are trying to make some political gains in Conservative country.
At the invitation of the Chilliwack-Hope Liberal Riding Association, MP Stéphane Dion will be visiting Hope on Feb. 28 for separate outreach meetings with town council and area First Nations.
“The goal is to learn, discuss issues and be sure we Liberals, when the election comes, have in mind the aspirations of the Canadian people and especially the people of Hope,” said Dion.
“We need to have this dialogue with people, not just during election time but between elections as well.”
Part of the visit will be geared towards engaging local First Nations in federal politics.
Dion wants to hear their challenges, solutions and what they want as partners with the federal government.
“It’s really important to me to hear their views,” he added.
“They need to have a government that’s willing to sit with them and work with them.”
The local riding has traditionally been dominated by Conservative representatives, but Dion believes there’s been some movement for the Liberal party.
“I think there’s some excitement around the leadership of Justin Trudeau. So we need to explain what Justin may mean for the country if he becomes prime minister,” he said.
“Politics is a cycle. Maybe Canadians will say enough now, we need a change.”
Dion pointed out that a Trudeau government would resemble the Liberal leadership of the 1990s, when the government was able to invest in universities, had a balanced approach, believed in multiculturalism, and took on an international role that Canadians were proud of.
However, coming from a new generation, Dion said Trudeau offers a fresh perspective that can help address the challenges the country is currently facing.