REGINA – The day after the election, MP Ralph Goodale accepted well wishes from residents in his riding.
“Really just a feeling of great gratitude for the people of Wascana who have been so loyal for so long, 22 years now,” he said.
Goodale has been an MP since 1993 in Regina-Wascana, historically, the Liberal Party’s only seat in Saskatchewan. Goodale was re-elected for the eighth time in his political career Monday night with 55 percent of the popular vote.
However, he was first elected in 1974 (he was 24 years old) in a southern rural riding under the first Prime Minister Trudeau.
“He had a way of engaging the public, motivating the public – sometimes in a very controversial manner, but he was one of those people who could really animate Canadians,” Goodale recalled. “Justin Trudeau has that same talent.”
Goodale’s ties to the Liberal Party go much further than the Trudeau’s: he was finance minister for Paul Martin and he’s been the party’s deputy leader since 2010.
Leader Post political columnist, Murray Mandryk said the new Prime Minister is likely to rely on Goodale as an experienced resource, likely to make him deputy prime minister or give him a senior cabinet position, which could mean more Saskatchewan influence in Trudeau’s cabinet.
“He will get a major role in the upcoming government,” said Mandryk, adding Goodale could have more clout in Ottawa as Saskatchewan’s sole Liberal MP than 13 Conservative MP’s did under Harper.
“The highest ranking minister we ever had in the Harper years was an Ag minister, which is good for us, but that’s not necessarily the most influential position in cabinet,” Mandryk said.