OTTAWA (Granthshala) It’s been six years since the Canadians first elected Justin Trudeau as prime minister – a period that has been filled with spectacular political victories, viral moments and a list of scandals.
But Trudeau was in the spotlight in Canada long before the 2015 federal election, in which the Liberals won a majority of 184 seats.
The eldest son of one of Canada’s most famous prime ministers, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, the young Trudeau showed no interest in politics at first. He worked as a teacher in Vancouver after graduating from McGill University in Montreal.
But Trudeau came into the public eye in 2000 at his father’s funeral, where he delivered an emotional eulogy.
“My father’s fundamental belief never came from a textbook,” Trudeau told his loved ones in attendance and the nation watching from home. “It stems from his deep love and trust for all Canadians and, over the past few days, with every card, every rose, every tear, every wave and every pirate, you have returned their love.”
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Trudeau’s stars rose from there.
The former drama teacher first won her seat on the Montreal Riding of Papineau in 2008 and was elected Member of Parliament. Five years later, the Liberals elected him as the leader of the party. In 2015, he became the Prime Minister of Canada, easily defeating the then Conservative leader Stephen Harper.
And whether he’s fighting Harper’s government in the House before that, or fighting Sen. Patrick Brazzo in a charity boxing match, Trudeau has been a magnet for attention.
His comments on why his first cabinet was gender-balanced went viral around the world.
“Because it’s 2015,” was the response that traveled around the world — the first of many viral moments. Others, such as a trip to India in 2018, which saw several wardrobe changes, were shared for reasons less flattering.
Trudeau plagued by multiple scandals
That’s because the glow of 2015 – in the eyes of Canadians – may have emanated from Trudeau.
The now 49-year-old has faced several scandals in his six years as prime minister: The Aga Khan, SNC-Lavalin’, Blackface and We Charity.
But none has diminished his popularity among Liberal supporters.
During this federal election campaign, which Trudeau began with the hope of turning his minority government into a majority, the prime minister said he needed a new mandate to implement all the big plans for the future.
Liberal Platforms faces a new $78 billion in spending over the next five years and has no plans to balance the budget.
One of the new promises was to establish rules under the Canadian Health Act to control access to sexual and reproductive health, such as abortion.
The platform also includes plans to ban assault weapons, mandate a gun buyback program, and give $1 billion to help provinces ban handguns in their jurisdictions.
The Liberal plan also includes $10-a-day of childcare and sick leave.
When it comes to the ongoing fight against COVID-19, Trudeau said his party supports immunization certificates and mandatory vaccines for people traveling on planes and trains.
It is all part of a new role that the Liberal leader has taken on: championing Canada without vaccinations.
“They are defending the personal choice of those who choose to put each other and our children at risk,” Trudeau said at a campaign stop.
“Instead of standing up for the individual liberties of those who did the right thing to stay safe, to keep their children safe, and to avoid further lockdowns and the economic downturn that happens when you don’t go ahead on vaccinations were growing.”
—Xiaoli Li and Cormac Mac with files from Sweeney