HIS FATHER’S SON
Justin Trudeau was born in Ottawa on Christmas Day in 1971, three years after “Trudeaumania” vaulted his father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, into a majority Liberal government. In 2000, when he delivered the eulogy at his father’s funeral, Justin remembered one memorable trip to Canadian Forces Station Alert in the Arctic, where he was taken on a secret mission to see “Santa Claus” hard at work making toys in his workshop.
PETER BREGG/THE CANADIAN PRESS
We need genuine and deep respect for each and every human being, notwithstanding their thoughts, their values, their beliefs, their origins. That’s what my father demanded of his sons, and that’s what he demanded of his country. … Je t’aime, Papa.Justin Trudeau, in his eulogy at his father’s funeral on Oct. 3, 2000
TRUDEAU THE TEACHER
Before entering politics, Justin Trudeau – who worked as a teacher and a board member of the Katimavik youth program founded by his father’s government – had a long career working with youth, including the summers he spent as a counsellor at Camp Ahmek in Ontario’s Algonquin Park. In 2013, after the Conservatives ran attack ads insinuating Mr. Trudeau’s camp-counselling and school-teaching days made him too soft to lead the Liberals, Joanne Kates – director of Camp Arowhon in Algonquin Park, Ont. – offered this defence of why rounding up children made him even more qualified for leadership. (After his electoral victory in 2015, Ms. Kates followed up with an open letter to the prime-minister-designate with advice on putting his old camp-counselling skills to use.)
Camp counsellors learn to maintain their positive energy 24/7. Working long hours with scarce resources, little time off and incessant demands on one’s attention is hard – for camp counsellors and for prime ministers. In challenging times, we need to see optimism in those at the front of the pack, or we won’t want to follow the leader.Joanne Kates
WHEN JUSTIN MET SOPHIE
As a young girl, Sophie Grégoire came to know the Trudeau family as a classmate of Justin Trudeau’s younger brother, Michel, who died in an avalanche on a skiing trip in British Columbia in 1998. She got to know Justin better after the two met at a Montreal Grand Prix charity ball in 2003, and they were married two years later. They now have three children: Xavier, 8, Ella-Grace, 6, and 20-month-old Hadrien.
In 2013, during the Liberal leadership campaign, The Globe’s John Allemang got to know Ms. Grégoire and observed how she brought “free-floating candour” instead of risk-averse caution to the role of political wife.
RYAN REMIORZ/THE CANADIAN PRESS
He tends to be more reclusive when faced with stress, while I tend to expand and talk it out. We’ve been very aware of our dynamics as a couple and we’ve worked that out – nothing comes easy.Sophie Grégoire in a 2013 interview
TRUDEAU IN THE RING
In 2008, Mr. Trudeau made a big move into federal politics by winning the Montreal riding of Papineau for the Liberals. With the Liberals in opposition, Mr. Trudeau took on portfolios ranging from youth issues to multiculturalism and citizenship. In 2012, he entered a different political arena – fighting Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau in a charity boxing match, which he won.
I had a game plan that I was going to stick to, I knew that he was going to come in heavy and hard right off the bat. But I also knew that I was going to be able to take anything he threw at me and when he did, he emptied himself out.Justin Trudeau, in a March, 2012, interview on the boxing match
TRUDEAU ON THE RISE
In 2011, the Liberals suffered a severe blow in a federal election that left them in third-party status. Michael Ignatieff’s resignation triggered a new leadership struggle, and Mr. Trudeau decided to put his name forward. He won the 2013 leadership race in a crushing victory – about 80 per cent of the votes – and pledged to rebuild the party.
PETER POWER/THE GLOBE AND MAIL
I don’t care if you thought my father was great or arrogant. It doesn’t matter to me whether you were a Chrétien Liberal or a Martin Liberal … The era of hyphenated Liberals ends right here, right now, tonight.Justin Trudeau in an April, 2013, speech on his leadership victory
TRUDEAU ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
The 2015 election – Canada’s longest-ever, at 78 days – was a hard slog for the Trudeau team, in which he ran on an ambitious program of social programs and deficit spending and fought Conservative accusations that he was “just not ready.” The Globe’s Ian Brown took an in-depth look at Mr. Trudeau on the campaign trail (link available for subscribers only).
JOHN LEHMANN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL
He wants to be genuine, whatever that entails, and wishes being genuine were not a political liability. It is not so much a political philosophy as a political psychology for a new age.Ian Brown
The Liberals’ majority victory on Oct. 19 was the biggest increase for a party between elections in Canadian history – a stunning reversal for a party that had only 34 seats when Mr. Trudeau took over the leadership. Here’s The Globe’s roundup of complete coverage from the morning after.
KEVIN VAN PAASSEN/BLOOMBERG
My friends, we beat fear with hope. We beat cynicism with hard work. We beat negative, divisive politics with a positive vision that brings Canadians together. … my friends, this is Canada, and in Canada better is always possible.Justin Trudeau’s victory speech on Oct. 19, 2015
A TRUDEAU BIBLIOGRAPHY
During the 2015 election, The Globe prepared an e-book about Mr. Trudeau (as well as his two main opponents, Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair): All are available to registered globeandmail.com users here.
Here are some other Trudeau-related books that The Globe has reviewed in recent years.
- Common Ground, by Justin Trudeau (2014). Reviewed by Jeet Heer.
- Changing My Mind, by Margaret Trudeau (2010). Reviewed by Andrew Cohen.
- Young Trudeau: Son of Quebec, Father of Canada, 1919-1944, by Max and Monique Nemni (2006). Reviewed by Jean-Philippe Warren.
- Trudeau Transformed: The Shaping of a Statesman, 1944-1965, by Max and Monique Nemni (2011). Reviewed by Joseph Dunlop.
- Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau 1968-2000, by John English (2009). Reviewed by William Johnson.
- The Last Act: Pierre Trudeau, the Gang of Eight, and the Fight for Canada , by Ron Graham (2011). Reviewed by Andrew Cohen.