Justin Trudeau receives support for Liberal leadership bid
By Laura Booth
Justin Trudeau is expected to be making a bid for the federal Liberal leadership and already two MPs have declared their support for his candidacy.
Liberal MP Massimo Pacetti, for Saint-Leonard-Saint Michel, Que., and Scott Simms for Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls–Windsor, Nfld., announced their support just hours after Montreal’s LaPresse announced his candidacy, the Hill Times newspaper reported.
Sources told LaPresse on Wednesday that the 40-year-old Member of Parliament for Papineau is set to follow in his father’s footsteps.
While Trudeau has yet to confirm his candidacy, he is expected to make the official announcement in his riding next Tuesday.
“Well, it could be fantastic. Justin Trudeau obviously is presentable, he’s articulate – he’s got these real strengths,” said Royce Koop, professor at the University of Manitoba and author of Grassroots Liberals: Organizing for Local and National Politics.
“There is a sort of disengaged group of people out there, Canadians, particularly young people that may be energized by him. There’s older people that loved his father. They’re going to get out to the polls to support Justin,” he said.
At the same time, Koop said Trudeau could benefit from a certain kind of vision of how Canada should operate.
“There’s also people that believe strongly in the federal government having a strong role and there’s not really anyone championing that position right now and Trudeau could do that.”
Trudeau first won his riding for the Liberals in 2007, and was re-elected in 2011.
Being a fairly new MP, a bid for leadership could come with some challenges.
“He’s inexperienced,” Koop said. “He’s in the ring with some real heavyweights right now and he lacks discipline and this is what [Prime Minister Stephen] Harper and [NDP Leader Thomas] Mulcair have in spades.”
The Globe and Mail reported that Trudeau already has a campaign team. His brother Alexandre (Sasha) Trudeau, Gerald Butts (chief executive officer of World Wildlife Fund Canada), and Katie Telford (deputy chief of staff to Stephane Dion), are already rumoured to be assisting him.