Another charismati­c Trudeau vows change

- Kim Hjelmgaard

Once again, a charismati­c Trudeau is back in charge of Canada.

Justin Trudeau, the 43-yearold son of long-serving Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, led his Liberal Party to a sweeping victory over the Conservati­ves in Monday’s election to claim the office his father held for a record number of years.

The elder Trudeau dated celebritie­s and was compared to John F. Kennedy when he took office in 1968. Now his son has created similar buzz as a youthful and eloquent leader.

His Conservati­ve Party rival, incumbent Stephen Harper, ran ads portraying Trudeau as an empty suit with good hair and a celebrity’s personalit­y.

Yet, Justin Trudeau has promised more than superficia­l change. He has called for tax cuts for the middle class, tax increases on the rich and deficit spending on infrastruc­ture and welfare to spur Canada’s sluggish economy. He also favors legalizati­on of marijuana “right away,” an increase in refugees accepted in Canada, better ties with the United States and more support for women’s rights. “I am a feminist. I’m proud to be a feminist,” Trudeau wrote on Twitter late last month.

Trudeau was born in Ottawa to two political families — his grandfathe­r on his mother’s side was a Canadian Cabinet minister. Despite the political pedigree, he took awhile to follow in his father’s footsteps. He worked as a teacher, actor, an environmen­tal activist, an engineer and even a bungeejump­ing coach. He graduated from Montreal’s McGill University in 1994 and married Sophie Grégoire, a model and former TV personalit­y. They have three young children.

His political career began in 2007 “in a parking lot. A grocery store parking lot, to be precise, directly across the street from a shawarma restaurant and a barbershop,” he said in a statement on his party’s website.

He became a member of Parliament in 2008, and by 2013, Trudeau was leader of the Liberal Party, which he moved to the left as part of a plan to end nearly 10 years of Conservati­ve rule.

 ?? CHRIS ROUSSAKIS, EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY ?? “I’m proud to be a feminist,” Justin Trudeau has tweeted.
CHRIS ROUSSAKIS, EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY “I’m proud to be a feminist,” Justin Trudeau has tweeted.

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