Article / Interview and Photo(s) by Jason Setnyk.
Cornwall Ontario — Liberal Leadership Candidate and Papineau Quebec MP Justin Trudeau was in Cornwall Ontario on Tuesday afternoon making a campaign pit stop.
The charismatic son of former Prime Minister Pierre Eliot Trudeau spoke to local residents for about half an hour on February 12th. He proceeded to answer a few questions in a media scrum, and then he shook hands and took pictures with many of the over one hundred people in attendance.
Jason Setnyk, reporting for the Seeker, asked Justin Trudeau, “Without a portfolio like Financial Critic on your resume how effective of a leader will you be debating the economy with the Prime Minister?”.
Trudeau responded that he was up to the challenge. He said, “That’s actually an excellent question, and I asked Mr. Flaherty (Finance Minister) two questions on the economy today, and he was able to answer neither one of them to satisfaction demonstrating a complete disconnect from real concerns and issues of Canadians, so I look forward to talking about what matters to Canadian families and to a struggling middle class in the coming months and years”.
During his speech Trudeau touched upon the economy. “Over the past thirty years, although the Canadian economy has grown by more than a hundred percent and it has more than doubled in size, median family income, average middle class income has only increased by 13 per cent in real terms. While incomes are stagnating, cost are rising, therefore personal and household debts have exploded to the level we all feel today. We are now unsure if the next generation is actually going to have greater opportunities than what was given to us by the previous generation. That is a break down in the very premise, the very promise at the heart of this country.”.
Trudeau said something is “broken down” if more and more middle class Canadians are slipping in to the class of the working poor, and more and more people need to rely on food banks. However Trudeau did not identify any specific solutions to address these economic problems.
In the Globe and Mail, former astronaut and Liberal Leadership contender Marc Garneau blasted Justin Trudeau for his lack of a ‘coherent vision’ in the Liberal leadership race. According to Garneau, Trudeau has been saying “nothing” substantial during this race.
Trudeau did not discuss specific platform points during his speech, instead he focused on his ‘vision’ of Canada and the future direction of the Liberal Party to better represent Canadians. To emphasis that point, he reminded the audience that almost anyone can vote for the next Liberal leader.
Anyone who is a permanent resident of Canada, over the age of 14, and not currently a member of another Federal Party can sign-up before the cut-off date of March 3rd to vote for the next Federal Liberal Party leader.
Watch the video of Trudeau’s visit to Cornwall on Youtube.
Update: On April 14th 2013 Justin Trudeau easily won the Liberal leadership race.