Canada's new PM Trudeau vows to bring hope, change

Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:27am EDT
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By Leah Schnurr

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is moving back to the house where he grew up.

The Liberal leader, son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, led his party to victory in a federal election on Monday, defeating Stephen Harper's Conservatives by a wide margin.

The Liberals seized a Parliamentary majority, an unprecedented turn in political fortunes that smashed the record for the number of seats gained from one election to the next. The Liberals had been a distant third place party in Parliament before the election.

The stunning win returns Trudeau, 43, to the prime minister's official residence at 24 Sussex Drive where he lived for almost 12 years while his father was in office.

Trudeau, who took over a party in shambles in 2013, trailed early in the campaign, brushed off by his opponents as being more style than substance and an intellectual lightweight who was not ready for the job.

But a bold pledge to run a budget deficit and boost spending to spur the economy, as well as a positive message and his gregarious nature, helped the Liberals engineer a turnaround.

The telegenic Trudeau has often drawn large crowds and elicited comparisons to the Kennedy dynasty and the Obama campaigns.

He was born to great publicity on Christmas Day 1971 and stayed in the limelight until his father left office in 1984. He returned to prominence with a moving eulogy at his father's 2000 funeral.   Continued...

Justin Trudeau is embraced by his wife Sophie Gregoire as he watches results at his election night headquarters in Montreal, Quebec, October 19, 2015. REUTERS/Chris Wattie