Justin Trudeau

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau

In Office
November 4, 2015-

Born
December 25, 1971
in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Political party Liberal

Spouse Sophie Grégoire (m. 2005)
Children 3

Parents
Pierre Trudeau (father)
Margaret Sinclair (mother)

Alma mater McGill University
University of British Columbia
University of Montreal

Trudeau is the second child in Canadian history to be born to a prime minister in office; the first was John A. Macdonald’s daughter Margaret Mary Theodora Macdonald (February 8, 1869 – January 28, 1933). Trudeau’s younger brothers Alexandre (Sacha) (born December 25, 1973) and Michel (October 2, 1975 – November 13, 1998) were the third and fourth.

On April 14, 1972, Trudeau’s father and mother hosted a gala at the National Arts Centre, at which visiting U.S. president Richard M. Nixon said, “I’d like to toast the future prime minister of Canada, to Justin Pierre Trudeau” to which Pierre Elliott Trudeau responded that should his son ever assume the role, he hoped he would have “the grace and skill of the president”.  Earlier that same day U.S. first lady Pat Nixon had come to see him in his nursery to deliver a gift, a stuffed toy Snoopy.  Nixon’s White House audio tapes later revealed Nixon referred to that visit as “wasting three days up there. That trip we needed like a hole in the head.”

In 2007, Trudeau starred in the two-part CBC Television miniseries The Great War, which gave an account of Canada’s participation in the First World War. He portrayed Talbot Mercer Papineau, who was killed on October 30, 1917, during the Battle of Passchendaele.  Trudeau is one of several children of former prime ministers who have become Canadian media personalities. The others are Ben Mulroney (son of Brian Mulroney), Catherine Clark (daughter of Joe Clark), and Trudeau’s younger brother, Alexandre.  Ben Mulroney was a guest at Trudeau’s wedding.

Trudeau has used his public status to promote various causes. He and his family started the Kokanee Glacier Alpine Campaign for winter sports safety in 2000, two years after his brother Michel Trudeau died in an avalanche during a ski trip.  In 2002, Trudeau criticized the British Columbia government’s decision to stop its funding for a public avalanche warning system.

In 2005, Trudeau fought against a proposed $100-million zinc mine that he argued would poison the Nahanni River, a United Nations World Heritage Site located in the Northwest Territories. He was quoted as saying, “The river is an absolutely magnificent, magical place. I’m not saying mining is wrong […] but that is not the place for it. It’s just the wrong thing to be doing.”

On September 17, 2006, Trudeau was the master of ceremonies at a Toronto rally organized by Roméo Dallaire that called for Canadian participation in resolving the Darfur crisis.

On October 19, 2015, after the longest official campaign in over a century, Trudeau led the Liberals to a decisive victory in the federal election. The Liberals won 184 of the 338 seats, with 39.5% of the popular vote, for a strong majority government; a gain of 150 seats compared to the 2011 federal election.

This was the second-best performance in the party’s history. The Liberals won mostly on the strength of a solid performance in the eastern half of the country. In addition to taking all of Atlantic Canada and Toronto, they won 40 seats in Quebec—the most that the Liberals had won in that province since Trudeau’s father led them to a near-sweep of the province in 1980, and also the first time since then that the Liberals won a majority of Quebec’s seats in an election. The 150-seat gain was the biggest numerical increase for a single party since Confederation, and marked the first time that a party had rebounded from third place in the Commons to a majority government.

Trudeau declared victory shortly after CBC News projected that he had won a majority government. He began his speech with a reference to Wilfrid Laurier’s “sunny ways” (French: voies ensoleillées) approach to bringing Canadians together despite their differences. According to Trudeau, Laurier “knew that politics can be a positive force, and that’s the message Canadians have sent today“.

Trudeau first met Sophie Grégoire when they were both children growing up in Montreal; Grégoire was a classmate and childhood friend of Trudeau’s youngest brother, Michel. They reconnected as adults in June 2003, when Grégoire, by then a Quebec television personality, was assigned as Trudeau’s co-host for a charity ball; they began dating months later. Trudeau and Grégoire married on May 28, 2005, in a Roman Catholic ceremony at Montreal’s Sainte-Madeleine d’Outremont Church. They have three children: Xavier James (born October 18, 2007), Ella-Grace Margaret (born February 5, 2009) and Hadrian Grégoire (born February 28, 2014).

In June 2013, two months after Trudeau became the leader of the Liberal Party, the couple sold their home in the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood of Montreal. They began living in a rented home in Ottawa’s Rockcliffe Park, the neighbourhood near where Trudeau resided as a child during his father’s time as prime minister.

On August 18, 2014, an intruder broke into the house while Grégoire and the couple’s three children were sleeping and left a “threatening note”; however, nothing was stolen and there was no damage to the property. Following the incident, Trudeau, who was in Winnipeg at the time of the break-in, stated his intention to inquire with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police about his home security. After his 2015 electoral victory, Trudeau opted to live at Rideau Cottage, on the grounds of Rideau Hall, until necessary repairs are completed at 24 Sussex to make it comfortable for his family.

Trudeau has a large Earth inside a Haida raven tattoo on his left arm. The tattoo is based on a design by Robert Davidson, a Haida artist whose grandmother ceremonially adopted Pierre Trudeau as an honorary member of the Haida tribe during a 1976 trip to what was then called the Queen Charlotte Islands.

Official website at http://pm.gc.ca/eng

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