CBC’s Peter Mansbridge shares unprecedented access as the new prime minister takes office
By Peter Mansbridge, CBC News
In a private moment hours before becoming Canada’s 23rd prime minister, Justin Trudeau was climbing the stairs in an empty Parliament Building, holding his two eldest children by the hands, when he made an unscheduled stop in a hallway holding the portraits of former prime ministers.
“Who is that?” Trudeau asked his son and daughter.
“Grandpapa,” Ella-Grace sings.
“That’s Grandpapa Pierre,” Trudeau told his children. “Today, he’ll be thinking of us and we’ll be thinking of him.”
He quickly raised a hand to caress the frame around his father’s portrait before abruptly announcing, “OK. Let’s go.”
It would have been impossible for Pierre Trudeau not to have played some role in Wednesday’s swearing-in spectacle.
Over the several hours Justin Trudeau spent in front of a camera and tethered to a microphone for a documentary by CBC’s The National, it is clear memories of his father were threaded through his thoughts.
Pierre Trudeau wasn’t just waiting for him in the hallway leading to the House of Commons. The memories of his dad were waiting for him in his new office. They had to be outside of 24 Sussex Drive when Trudeau pulled up in front of the empty executive mansion for the first time in years.
What was Trudeau thinking as the armoured sedan wound around the drive of his old home?
“This is weird,” was all he would offer.
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