Trudeaumania alive and well Hundreds turn out to give Liberal leader rock star treatment
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, January 14, 2015
In a scene reminiscent of his father's early years as prime minister, Trudeaumania was very apparent as Liberal leader Justin Trudeau held a meet and greet Sunday afternoon at the Explorer Hotel.
Justin Trudeau, right, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, pauses for a photograph with supporters during a Northern tour stop in Yellowknife. - Walter Strong/NNSL photo
As many as 300 people jammed into the room for a chance to rub shoulders with the eldest son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau and the man who wants to become the next Canadian prime minister.
Eyes lit up. Many couldn't curtail their smiles and their genuine excitement as they got their first in-person look at Trudeau's matinee idol looks and a sense of his charm.
Women, men and children stood in line to get a brief word in with Trudeau, get a photo with him, or both. It was rock star treatment for Trudeau's first visit to Yellowknife as Liberal leader. After working one side of the room, Trudeau took to the microphone to speak in both French and English. The partisan audience applauded and cheered loudly after virtually every pause in his impromptu speech.
Trudeau entertained three questions from the crowd including one on what a Liberal government would do about the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women.
"The Liberal party has been unequivocal. We need a national, public inquiry on missing and murdered aboriginal women," he said
"I told him I was looking forward to the next election and that it couldn't come soon enough," said Cindy Villeneuve. She was just one of the many people who patiently waited for a very brief chance to talk to the Liberal leader.
However, not everyone was entirely swept off their feet by Trudeau.
Anusa Sivalingam said she asked him how he would be different as a prime minister.
"I found his answers, like any politician, to be full of rhetoric and jargon. We'll just have to see if he forgets his promises if he comes to power," she said.
Trudeau spent about an hour and a half pressing the flesh and working the room. His smile never left and not at any time did he appear as though the meet and greet was a chore. Trudeau then met privately with media which included local reporters and photographers, plus others from as far away as Calgary.