Justin Trudeau made his bid for the federal Liberal leadership official Tuesday evening, confirming weeks of speculation and taking the next step along a path set by his father some 44 years ago.
The 40-year-old Montreal MP broke the announcement in a YouTube video posted to his website, and then minutes later at a rally in his Papineau riding, after his wife, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, introduced him to the crowd.
“I love this great country; I want to spend my life serving it,” Trudeau said.
“This is why tonight I am offering myself for the leadership of the Liberal party of Canada.”
Trudeau said the road to success will be “one long, Canadian highway.”
“We will have ups and downs, breathtaking vistas and a few boring stretches. And with winter coming, icy patches. But we will match the size of this challenge with hard, honest work.”
He said he decided to announce his leadership candidacy on Tuesday because that would have been his late brother Michel’s 37th birthday. Michel was killed in an avalanche in 1998 while skiing in British Columbia.
Trudeau, the eldest son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, has shown a knack for capturing the excitement surrounding his father’s legacy and mixing it with his own telegenic charm.
The idea of Trudeau following his father’s footsteps into 21 Sussex Drive has been around nearly his entire life. But Trudeau’s famous surname was noticeably absent at Tuesday night’s rally – the red background behind him was emblazoned only with his first name.
Trudeau said he wants to reconnect the Liberal Party with ordinary people across Canada, especially the middle class.
“A thriving middle class provides realistic hope and a ladder of opportunity for the less fortunate — a robust market for our businesses, and a sense of common interest for all,” he said.
He added that the Conservatives and the New Democrats have not responded well to Canadians’ economic struggles over the last few years.
“What’s the response from the NDP? To sow regional resentment and blame the successful. The Conservative answer? Privilege one sector over others and promise that wealth will trickle down, eventually,” Trudeau said.
“Both are tidy ideological answers to complex and difficult questions. The only thing they have in common is that they are both, equally, wrong.”
At a brief news conference after his announcement, Trudeau said he’s running for Liberal leadership “because I believe in an option that is not polarized around the edges, that is not bound to an ideology but is looking for the best possible ways…to serve all Canadians.”
Trudeau was born on Christmas Day in 1971, while his father was in the early years of his time as prime minister.
He became a high school teacher before running for parliament in 2008. He elected to run in the hotly-contested riding of Papineau, rather than the Montreal riding of Outremont, at the time considered a Liberal safety net.
Trudeau then survived the NDP wave that swept across Quebec in the 2011 election, increasing his margin of victory.
Trudeau, a father of two small children, is one of the Liberal Party’s brightest stars, drawing crowds to fundraisers, as well as participating in a charity boxing match earlier this year, at which he beat Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau.
For all his success, however, criticism remains that Trudeau has not been challenged on his vision or position on key issues.
Many critics say that no one even knows what Trudeau’s views are on major economic and foreign policy matters.
But his campaign adviser, Desiree McGraw, said Trudeau will be an effective, “pragmatic” leader who can engage Canadians of all generations, especially the youth.
“There is no part of this country that is off limits,” she said of Trudeau’s reach on CTV’s Power Play Tuesday night.
As for the Trudeau legacy, “Justin is his own man,” McGraw said. “He has proven that.”
Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae has already said he will not be vying for the party’s top job.
So far, constitutional lawyer Deborah Coyne — who is the mother of Justin Trudeau’s half-sister Sarah — has announced she is running for the leadership position.
Manitoba paramedic Shane Geschiere and economist Jonathon Mousley have also gone public with their intentions to seek the top job.
Liberal MP Dominic Leblanc was also reportedly interested in leading the party, but sources have told CTV’s Roger Smith that Leblanc will likely support Trudeau instead.
Among those who are said to be considering throwing their hats in the ring are MP and former astronaut Marc Garneau, Vancouver MP Joyce Murray and former leadership candidate Martha Hall Findlay.
The Liberal leadership campaign officially gets underway in mid-November.
Trudeau is expected to make appearances in Calgary, Richmond, B.C., and the Toronto area in the coming days.
With files from The Canadian Press
Courtesy: Flickr 21lau_z
What a bru-ha-ha it has been today.
Are you married or are you not? Does Canada acknowledge your marriage as legal and binding if you live elsewhere other than in Canada? Did the government nullify more than 15,000 gay marriages that have been performed in Canada since the law went into effect in 2004? The Government says it isn’t opening the marriage debate again, but what is it going to do with you all who want divorces???
This story is still evolving. From CTV News:
Sonja Puzic, CTVNews.ca
Date: Thu. Jan. 12 2012 11:30 PM ET
The federal government is considering changes to the law that will make it easier for foreign same-sex couples who married in Canada to obtain divorces, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said Thursday.
Nicholson also stressed the government has no intention of reopening the same-sex marriage debate after a day of confusion over the validity of marriage licences issued in Canada to same-sex couples from abroad.
Ottawa was pressed to clarify its position on gay marriage after an apparent about-face on the issue surfaced in a Toronto divorce case.
A lesbian couple who married in Canada seven years ago and recently filed for divorce was told by a Department of Justice lawyer that their marriage was not legal.
The stated reason was that because the partners live in Florida and England, where same-sex marriage remains illegal, their Canadian union was invalid too.
The case threw into question thousands of marriages non-residents entered into since 2004, when same-sex marriage became legal in Canada under a Liberal government.
In a statement, Nicholson said the issue centres on dissolution of marriages performed in Canada.
Non-resident couples who marry here must live in Canada for one year before they can legally divorce. The lesbian couple at the centre of the controversy has launched a constitutional challenge of that provision in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
Nicholson said he will be “looking at options to clarify the law so that marriages performed in Canada can be undone in Canada.”
In an interview with CTV’s Power Play, Nicholson’s parliamentary secretary Kerry-Lynne Findlay said the Canadian marriages of non-resident same-sex couples are legal in Canada.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper had little to say Thursday other than relate his government’s reluctance to wade back into a same-sex marriage debate.
“We have no intention further of opening or reopening this issue,” Harper told reporters gathered for a shipbuilding agreement announcement in Halifax.
“This, I gather, is a case before the courts where Canadian lawyers have taken particular positions based on the law. But I will be asking officials to provide me more details with this particular case.”
Opposition parties and critics quickly weighed in on the issue, accusing the prime minister of trying to rewrite Canada’s same-sex marriage laws “in stealth.”
In a statement, Egale Canada, a human rights organization advocating equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, called the apparent flip-flop “a direct insult to gays and lesbians both in Canada and abroad.”
If the federal lawyer’s arguments in the Toronto divorce case are a misunderstanding, Harper should make that clear, NDP MP Olivia Chow said.
With files from Kieron Lang and The Canadian Press
We shall see where this story goes. It was all over the news tonight. All those people came to Canada to get married and have that joyous moment in their lives. And now I fear that we are beginning to see just how long those marriages lasted, as this is probably not the last divorce case we will see come from abroad.
I mused earlier that you came all this way to get married, and you spent all that money on that day. And now you want a divorce. What to do??? They say in gay circles that lesbians mate for life. I guess that’s not really true any more.
I guess you all got caught up in the woo hoo about being able to get married so you came here and cashed in your relationship chips for a marriage license.
Six state governments (along with the District of Columbia, the Coquille Indian Tribe, and the Suquamish tribe) have passed laws offering same-sex marriage: New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, and New Hampshire. In all six states, same-sex marriage has been legalized through legislation or court ruling. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Massachusetts since May 17, 2004; in Connecticut since November 12, 2008; in Iowa since April 27, 2009; in Vermont since September 1, 2009; New Hampshire since January 1, 2010; and New York since July 24, 2011.In 2009, New England became the center of an organized push to legalize same-sex marriage, with four of the six states in that region granting same-sex couples the legal right to marry.
And now couples are starting to figure out that they really don’t want to be married any more. And we could speculate on just what the reasons are that a couple would want a dissolution of marriage.
As good gays and lesbians we are supposed to show up the heterosexuals and prove to them that we can marry and stay together longer and truer than our straight counterparts.
Marriage in celebrity circles has become a mockery and a joke. What have they done to the institution of marriage for all of us ???
This whole push to legalize gay marriage nationwide in the United States is going to come up eventually in the campaign race. They just haven’t gotten around to it yet, but rest assured those Christians who want to see us damned are going to make sure their chosen candidate does all he can to stop gay marriage from being passed across the rest of the 44 states.
Why did you come here and get married then gone home with that little piece of paper, that got all dusty and forsaken. And now you want a divorce. What a waste. It is very sad to see couples separate for any reason. I just hope it was a good reason and not something stupid like, “oh well, we thought we’d get in on the excitement and really when we came to think about it, we really did not want to abide by our wedding vows, till death do us part …”
So now we want a Canadian divorce because we got a made in Canada marriage.
I Don’t think Canada prepared for this contingency in hindsight.
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Ottawa will change law so same sex marriages are valid: Nicholson.
By The Canadian Press | The Canadian Press
13 January 2012
TORONTO – The federal justice minister says the government will change the law to ensure gay couples from abroad who marry in Canada will have their unions recognized here.
Rob Nicholson says it’s the government’s view that these marriages “should be valid.”
“We will change the Civil Marriage Act so that any marriages performed in Canada that aren’t recognized in the couple’s home jurisdiction will be recognized in Canada,” Nicholson said Friday during a speech to the Canadian Club of Toronto.
Doubts were raised about the validity of thousands of marriages conducted in Canada for same-sex couples from the United States and elsewhere following a federal twist in a Charter of Rights case launched in Ontario by two foreign women seeking a divorce.
A legal brief filed by federal lawyers denies the women are even legally married.
Critics accused Stephen Harper’s Conservative government of seeking to rewrite the rules on gay marriage to suit its right-wing agenda.
In announcing the government would change the law, Nicholson said Friday that “the confusion and pain resulting from this gap … is completely unfair to those affected.”
Liberal Leader Bob Rae, speaking to reporters at the party’s policy convention in Ottawa, responded to Nicholson by lamenting, “Oh please, give me a break.”
“These guys specialize in trying to turn the tables,” Rae said of the Harper Conservatives.
“The only gap is the gap between the heads of Conservative cabinet ministers who have failed to live up the best and finest traditions of Canada with respect to our positions of tolerance,” Rae added.
The couple seeking a divorce, identified in court records only by initials to protect their privacy, were married in Toronto in December 2005 and separated two years ago. One lives in Clearwater, Fla., the other in London, England.
Their marriage is not recognized either in Florida or the United Kingdom. As a result, they are unable to obtain a divorce in their home cities.
The couple also faced a barrier to divorce in Ontario — a requirement that at least one of them live in the province for a year or more. They have launched a constitutional challenge of that provision in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
The last weekend of Summer has come and gone. The kids should be in bed already so that they can get up on time for school tomorrow. Backpacks should be packed and lunches made and new school clothes waiting to be worn.
It was always an exciting time getting ready for school back in the day. Lots of good memories shopping for new clothes and getting ready for new school years. I am reminded of what it was like tonight since most of the news casts had stories about going “back to school.”
This week marks new beginnings in the News World. With Lloyd Robertson’s departure from the CTV National News chair last week, we welcome a new anchor to the chair tonight.
The new CTV National news with Lisa Laflamme began tonight with a new desk, new graphics and a very exciting news reporting. Lisa has been a fixture at CTV covering world affairs from all the major hot spots around the world. It was an exciting news cast and I think that she will do well in her new role as the main anchor for the National News. Lisa writes a new column called “The Desk:”
This is a big day for the CTV National News team. The first, in our new story as we step across the bridge and into the future.
Tonight, I will sit in ‘The Chair’ for the first time as Chief News Anchor and Senior Editor. It’s a new role for me, but I’m happily surrounded by the same team I have been part of my entire professional life.
People have asked me, what will change?
Well, let me tell you first what will NOT change: what we do better than anyone.
Acting as witness to events in our own country and around the world.
Making sense of facts – some of which are easier to establish than others, so at the kitchen tables of Canada, EVERYBODY understands.
Investigating beyond the bare facts – we nail bad guys and celebrate the good guys.
So what will change? The truth is, it already has.
The dizzying pace of the daily news cycle online and on TV is only going to accelerate.
I see this as good news because 140 characters does not a news story make. It means that at the end of the day, more and more people will NEED what we do best. Context, credibility and basic reporting have never been more important than they are today.
We’re already using social media to share our stories with an even wider audience, to alert you of breaking stories and as a place we can see YOUR crucial feedback and ideas. I’m excited to take greater advantage of all the digital tools at our disposal in order to tell our stories in new ways, on exciting new platforms. (Have you checked out our new FREE CTV News iPad App!)
Back to today, or rather, tonight. So many people have worked so hard to make this launch a success. From the editorial brainstorming to the production artistry, to the magical construction of the incredible new set – our own Special Forces!
And finally, I want to thank you all for your incredible support. Your notes, tweets, and emails have been overwhelming, and I promise we won’t let you down.
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Tomorrow the local CTV news channel here in Montreal begins its new news casts from their new Studio twelve. There are no photos of the new studio up yet and my local reporter friend has not updated his news stories feed just yet, so maybe I will be able to post some of those shots in the coming days.
It is going to be an exciting week for all. Hubby goes back to teaching next Monday in the department of sociology at Concordia, he and a few of his friends were hand picked to teach tutorials for the department this fall. It is a new chapter for him in his commitment to his education and the education of new students in the department.
It being a holiday today – we did not have to be anywhere so I slept in again and hubby went out to meet with his fellow teachers for a few hours. When he got home we prepared some dinner and that is always fun.
I’ve been noticing a lot lately that my hair has been steadily going grey in many places and I don’t fathom going grey this early in my life so the other day I went by Pharmaprix to get some Loreal Excellence hair color. This is my only vain vein in my body … grey hair is unacceptable. So that’s one thing that got done tonight.
Tomorrow is Tuesday and it will be an exciting day. Hopefully the sun will shine because it is raining a bit tonight.
Sty tuned, more to come…