Justin Trudeau's first visit to Winnipeg
as Liberal Party leader
During a cross-country tour, the newly minted leader of the Liberal Party made a quick stop in Winnipeg on May 2 to greet Manitobans and thank supporters. Justin received a dignitary’s welcome as a mixed crowd of life-long Liberals and interested passers-by congregated at the Richardson International Airport after catching wind of Justin’s visit. The leader also met with students at Sisler High School and conducted a brief walkabout at the TD Centre Food Court with a pleasantly surprised lunchtime crowd.
Coincidentally, Margaret Trudeau, Justin’s mother and wife of the late Pierre Trudeau was also in town for a speaking engagement with Manitoba Nurses. Neither knew they were both in Winnipeg until an individual approached Margaret and asked her if she was in town for Justin’s tour. Soon after, they were reunited.
As the polls cautiously surge in favour of the Liberals, only time will tell if the numbers will hold up. During a scrum with Winnipeg media, Justin reinforced the importance of not taking anything for granted and ensuring that Canadians from coast to coast to coast are provided with a sensible and responsible alternative to the Harper Government and that he is doing everything in his ability to position the party to be that alternative. With only a couple of years left before the next mandated election, all eyes will be on Justin as the full weight of the future of the LPC rests squarely on his shoulders.
In other news, a fortunate stroke of serendipity happened for the Liberal Party as they claimed victory in the Labrador by-election held on May 13th. Traditionally a Liberal riding, this seat was vacated by then Conservative Cabinet Minister Peter Penashue who stepped down after admitting his 2011 campaign accepted illegal donations. Penashue ran again in the by-election garnering 32 per cent compared to Liberal Candidate, Yvonne Jones, who won with 48 per cent of total ballots cast. The Liberals now stand at 36 seats in the house.