Montreal — The most famous family in Canadian politics celebrated a victory Sunday as Liberals chanted their name and waved red-and-white posters emblazoned “Trudeau.”
Justin Trudeau hugged his mother, brother and wife after securing a first-ballot victory in his battle to represent a Montreal riding in the next election for the party his father led through 16 years and three majority governments.
The 35-year-old called his win at the nomination meeting a reminder that he’s more than just Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s son.
The outcome on the crowded floor of a college gymnasium came after a weeks-long fight in the gritty Papineau riding that Mr. Trudeau now hopes to represent in Parliament.
He received no endorsement from the party brass and defeated two challengers with deep roots in a lower-middle-class community that is an economic galaxy away from his own upbringing at 24 Sussex Drive.
“Listen, I’m carrying the Trudeau name, yes. I’m also carrying my own name,” he said after the results were announced.
“I think what was achieved here in this process was to demonstrate that I’m not just a last name. I’m someone who has a first name, who is able to reach out and represent people.”
He ducked behind the stage to take a congratulatory phone call from Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion once the results came in.
His win was a slim one — with 54 per cent of the vote and just 56 ballots more than he needed — but averted a second ballot amid rumours that his rivals might join in an anybody-but-Trudeau alliance.
The long-time municipal councillor and Italian-language newspaper editor he defeated both said they would support Mr. Trudeau’s bid to dislodge the Bloc Québécois incumbent in the next election.
To the left of the stage his younger brother Alexandre was locked in a celebratory bear hug with a family friend, after spending much of the day wandering through the gymnasium and cradling his four-month-old son. The boy’s name is Pierre Trudeau.
Alexandre joked that the late prime minister would have had a mixed reaction Sunday.
“He would have said, ‘I guess I can’t control my son,’ ” Alexandre said.
“My father would be worried about his son going into politics but he would have blessed him, of course. Politics has its ups and downs — it’s good and bad.
“But he would be proud, of course.”
Dressed in a smart white business suit, his mother Margaret energetically worked the bustling room and signed her name on campaign posters.
Mr. Dion said Mr. Trudeau would be an asset to the party and that he was pleased the candidate entered politics “by the front door in a very proud way.”
Earlier in the day, Mr. Trudeau’s opponents at the nomination meeting drew attention to their long-standing ties to the area in an unspoken reference to his newcomer status.
But the former drama teacher and current environmental geography student reminded the crowd during his opening speech Sunday of something they had in common: pride in his father’s legacy.
In the fall of 1965, he said, Pierre Trudeau ran in the neighbouring Mount Royal riding — part of which is now in Papineau.
He told the crowd that some of the people present Sunday helped nominate the man who eventually gave Canada one of the most evolved tools for human rights in the world, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“What you were part of 40 years ago changed Canada forever,” he said.
“We are all children of the charter. You can understand how fiercely proud I am to be able to say that your prime minister was also my dad.”
But he quickly pointed out that his political dreams are based on future ambitions — not nostalgia.
He said he wants to wrest the riding back from a Bloc Québécois that seeks to “divide and destroy Canada.”
And he also wants the Liberal party to defeat the Conservatives, who he described as plagiarists stealing policy from the U.S. right-wing and dividing Canadians over social-justice and environmental issues.
But his carefully choreographed speech hit a snag when he tried switching from the podium to a handheld microphone that would allow him to roam the stage.
“And just who am I? I am . . . .”
Then there was dead air as the microphone failed.
After an awkward pause, Mr. Trudeau recovered and went on: “I am Justin Trudeau. I am a man with a dream for our riding, our province, and our country.”
He first drew notice for his performance in John Cameron Mitchell’s movie Shortbus (I still have to watch it). In it, he played guitar and sang a cute song he wrote called Soda Shop. So sweetly sung by Jay, you may think it’s a simple 50′s throwback, when you hear talk of sock hops and shoo-be-doobie-doo-wops. But I can tell you it’s a little more complicated than that. In fact, it’s about someone who is drinking way too much!
It doesn’t take long for the song to make Jay an online star, the video of him performing it has been viewed nearly a million times. Does the fact that he’s shirtness, performing in his toilet have anything to do with it? Umm, surely it does, but I think the rest of his songs hold similar charms and revelations. You can hear more of him on YouTube and buy his four-song EP ‘Unmastered’ via Snocap HERE.
Courtesy of: Ministry of Pleasure
So much for down time. Tomorrow morning I start the next phase of my educational development as a member of the Department of Theology, with my Certificate in Pastoral Ministries at Concordia University.
Summer Session 1 begins tomorrow (30 April to the 13 June) …
I will be taking Comparative Culture in the Department of Anthropology and in the Department of Theology – Spirituality- Personal, Social and Religious.
It looks like the grades are in and we have:
In Modern Christian Thought I have a (C+)
In Christian Origins I have a (B)
My GPA to date is : 2.75
Not bad for an old fart!!
I have one last bill to pay tomorrow and then we wait for the word “Conferred” to appear on my transcript sometime during the month of May.
The day that Memere presented me to God in that church in my early childhood, little did I know how much that would make a difference in my life today. Hindsight is our best teacher. I have always been open to anything and everything. I have never put blinders on my brain or my senses. I guess you could say that I am multi-talented.
Early in my childhood I was predisposed to the paranormal. I would become the medium of my family and my parents thought that I was insane and stupid so I will relate to you some stories to illustrate.
I was in Junior High when my Uncle Paul died in Connecticut and a blue jay appeared at my cousin’s house where her father (my uncle) as I had always believed, he was my father’s cousin, but he was uncle John to the rest of us. Uncle John would be the go between for my father and his parents final resting places. anyways, I digress…
The bird… yes, blue jays are not known for interpersonal skills, yet this bird was different. He followed my uncle around the house (outside) he pecked at the windows for months, and answered to the name Paul when shooed away or invoked after his death. This went on for months until my grandfather died in Florida.
Al was a bitter, sick, demented and sad man – my father’s father died unceremoniously and we did not mourn him for the abuse he heaped upon all of us in this family. But he came back to me. I had a bedroom in the back of the house against my favorite climbing trees and a view of the backyard and patio. After grampy died the bird appeared at my window one day and he pecked and he pecked.
He followed me to the bus stop and back home, he knew when I was home and when we all were in which room. The red headed woodpecker answered to the name of Al when we got tired of his pecking we could open the window and say “get lost Al!” and he would come whenever I called him. This went on for about six months. At one point the bird disappeared…
My uncle shared with us his adventures on his end. 1500 miles away. And then one day he called and said a second bird appeared on the back porch – it was a red headed wood pecker with the blue jay. They visited for a while and then they both disappeared. They were never seen again.
When my paternal grandmother died, it crushed my father emotionally, not to mention me as well. She was a great woman, who loved me and protected me from my abusive father over the years. When she died, I was living out of the house at that point. I came home for the funeral and had to take care of the final send off to the crematorium for my father because he couldn’t handle it.
That afternoon I had brought flowers from her funeral home with me – and that is when she appeared to me. She still appears to me today, many years later. Jeannie stands at the foot of my bed, she never says anything, but she brings with her a scent that only she could bring – and I know the scent. She scared the shit out of me the first night she came to stand vigil at my bedside. She has followed me all over the world as I have moved.
After I was diagnosed HIV positive in 1994, I started seeing a “reader” who taught me the art of divination and card reading, because you know, I am gonna die, I wanna know what’s on the other side, right? I had a small apartment in Ft. Lauderdale that was given to me by some friends when my family decided that I was “untouchable.” My bedroom had a wall unit A/C and I would sleep with my door closed each night. I did not make the connection here until certain things happened. The pictures on the wall would be crooked in the morning. Magazines on the coffee table would be tossed about my apartment, which wasn’t very big at all. I had no pets and I lived alone.
Miguel came over one afternoon and drew a circle and confronted the spirit in the room. Jeannie had not appeared as she had in the past. He told me that a red headed woman was in the apartment and that she did not know how to get through the bedroom door. That I should sleep with the door open from now on, which I did. He described Jeannie to a “t” and so I knew she was still watching me.
Many years later – and I had lived, my maternal grandmother, the lifeblood of all that I am and the maker of faith for me as a man, died. She was in Connecticut and I was in Florida. I had pulled all of the cash I had to buy a plane ticket for the funeral and my mother informed me that I was not to attend the funeral for God Forbid her family find out that I had AIDS. You can imagine my horror and revulsion at her insistance that I comply with her wishes. I had…
Soon after the funeral had passed, I started to commune with Camille in my sleep. She would talk to me and I wrote letters to my mother in her pen and in her handwriting, I am sure my mother kept all these letters, but she never admitted to anyone what they were or who they came from.
She once told me that she had saved my rant letters in a safety deposit box to prove that I was insane. I was an unlucky bastard to my family and nothing I did or said to them ever changed the way they saw me. Camille and I still commune to this very day.
My parents – once said that if I had died that I would have no funeral and be buried somewhere off on my own, which led me to do something seriously drastic to keep them from ever having any control, or ability to touch me in life or in death…
Jeremiah came to be…
The prophet is never welcome in his own town or listened to, but Jeremiah Preached his sermon to deaf ears. Years would pass and insanity would rule and the family resentment would carry out to this very day.
Camille once gave me a scapular that I carried in my wallet for decades until I moved to Montreal in 2002, and realized what that key to faith that would play into my life, with the finding of Sister Georgette soon after and the stories she would tell me about my past and of Camille’s life and the room she stayed in AT the Mother House when she lived here in Montreal.
It so happened that one day I was at the Mother House standing in Camille’s cell and she appeared to me and I told sister Georgette that she was in visitation, Sister G never denied that that was possible. Over the last five years Camille has visited us at the Mother House and here at home. She brings with her a scent as well. That I would recognize.
Jeannie still comes in visitation to the house here and she stands at the foot of my bed and watches over us now. Hubby knows of this and he welcomed her into his home when we started living together, because she used to freak him out in the beginning.
So this little innocent Catholic boy practices the Wiccan circle and read his cards for certain people and never for personal gain. My bedroom is a shrine – the bookcase holds all the sacred objects given to me by sister G, and it holds the gifts given to me by the nuns upon her death in August.
I believe that there is an ever after, because when I went across on my NDE the last time I was in the hospital in 1997, I was told so. My family that surrounded me and protected me from my parents and their abuse, surround me today and have been here, because unlike some of you, I have no blood kin that will participate in my life today. Blood is not thicker than water in my family and resentments and anger rules the hearts of the adults in my family.
I study religion and the ever after because when I die, all those folks whom I honor in my life today will be there to welcome me into the kingdom when my card comes up. I am not the same man I was a mere 10 years ago. I am much older and wiser and I grew up and I forgave and I moved on.
I pray that sad prayer every day, God if it is in your power to grant me one miracle – this is the one that I would wish for. God has yet to respond. Sobriety has taught me a lot about prayer and expectations from God. Eesh, I know that all too well…
On the eve of my first wedding anniversary in 2005, my mother came to me here in Montreal. She appeared in my bedroom on the 19th of November. We were married on the 20th, her birthday. She told me that she came to say goodbye and that she was going to die. Then she departed and I never saw her again.
I have only a memory of my mother from that day in 2001. I have no pictures nor has she attempted to maintain contact with me since I moved here, because she is fiercely loyal to my abusive father. I never called to confirm her death, because I have said that if she had died and my father kept it from me, I would no doubt go insane and drink!
Last year, on the eve of my second wedding anniversary she appeared again to me in my bedroom, but she did not speak. I have practiced the art of scrying her in my sleep and that has failed to give me results. I have begged her to join me in dream space because that is where we could find each other – alas, I never dream about my mother or see her like I see others, for some reason. I don’t have that answer.
All I know is that when I had my near death experience and met that man afterwards who spoke to me because I was incensed that I asked all my questions on the other side and came back with no answers, this man looked at me and said…
“Why wait till you are dead to ask your questions, at that point it is too late to do anything about them, ask them now while you are alive and be ready for answers.”
Ghosts, a good thing or a bad thing, for me its a good thing. I am somewhat empathic to a degree which is a gift and a curse, however you look at it, on any given full moon cycle, which I think we are in at the moment. We are at 62% of full tonight, which is why I am feeling the way I do, I am speeding and writing like a mad man about the paranormal!!
I believe – you don’t have to believe one word that I wrote here, but that’s my story and I am sticking to it…
I tell the story of David, my best friend. He died in the Spring of 1987. I had spoken to him prior to his death and I knew he loved me. On the night of his wake, at the funeral home, the priest had a seizure and I had to finish the prayer service for the attendees. Upon my arrival back at the seminary, it was stormy outside. I was bereft in my sadness and grief. It was really not pretty. I was kneeling in the front (right) pew in front of the altar. It was late, and dark outside.
I heard one of the confessional doors open and close in the right of the transept. I heard footsteps come around the altar stones, the floor is stone and marble. The foot steps stopped in the center of the main aisle in front of the altar. The Altar Candle exploded and lit up the mural you see behind it, it was a most glorious vision. David was standing there before me, and told me not to weep, that he was ok, and that he would watch over me. To this day, I have his Glorious Mary Medallion which I never leave the house without. It hangs on a chain I wear with my other medallions.
Every time I look at this picture, I am reminded of this story…
So in his memory, I share it with you…
I love you David…