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Layton rallies at Club Soda

by Archives October 14, 2008

NDP leader Jack Layton shared the stage with rock bands in a last ditch attempt to gain support among Quebec’s youth. The rally at Club Soda on Saturday seemed more like a rock show than a campaign stop, as local bands performed between speeches from NDP candidates in front of an enthusiastic crowd.
Despite his party’s unpopularity in Quebec, Layton said he understands the province better than current Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
“Stephen Harper does not understand Quebec,” Layton said. “I do understand Quebec, I grew up here. That’s why I’ve been trying to build the kind of team and enthusiasm you have seen here today.”
Layton described the turnout as “thrilling,” saying he sees it as a sign his party’s appeal is growing on Quebeckers. “We’ve never had a chance to really connect them into a movement that could really make some exciting change. I think it’s beginning to happen.”
The NDP has had a hard struggle to win votes in Quebec with unions endorsing the Bloc Québécois and many federalists turning to the Liberals. However Layton said his party has begun to make gains with unions. “We have a considerable amount of trade unionists running for our party . . . we also have the CSN that has told its members to not go in one direction, which is a breakthrough.”

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