USA TODAY US Edition
Another charismatic Trudeau vows change
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.