© Photo special to The Guardian
Justin Trudeau is taking his Liberal leadership campaign to Prince Edward Island on Monday.
The 40-year-old MP from the riding of Papineau in Montreal is considered the front-runner in the race that doesn’t officially kick off until mid-next week.
Polls go so far to suggest that a Trudeau-led Liberal party would be able to capture a slim majority government and win over support in his home province of Quebec, support that is now in the hands of Tom Mulcair’s NDP.
Trudeau believes he can heal the deep divisions within his party and build support right across the country.
“We have to make sure the party stops looking inward and starts engaging with Canadians right across the country,” Trudeau said in an exclusive interview with The Guardian, prior to his arrival to the province Monday.
“It’s not our future that we need to worry about as Liberals – it’s the future of our country that we have to focus on. So, infighting and disagreements and navel-gazing within the party has gotten us to a place where people simply don’t trust us the way we would certainly like them to.
“For me, the divisions of the past have to be set aside and we have to all start pulling together and opening ourselves up to Canadians.”
Trudeau starts his day with a visit to Jewell’s Dairy Farm in Cornwall at 12:45 p.m. Monday. He then travels west to Vanier Centre in Wellington where he will meet with supporters at 2:30 p.m.
The big event is planned for Monday evening when Trudeau will attend a meet and greet at The Guild in Charlottetown at 7 p.m.
“It’s not our future that we need to worry about as Liberals – it’s the future of our country that we have to focus on," Justin Trudeau
Organizers expect a packed hall.
On Tuesday, Trudeau will do some mainstreeting with Charlottetown Liberal MP Sean Casey from 7:45 a.m. until 9 a.m.
Trudeau then visits Colonel Grey High School in Charlottetown where he will deliver remarks and take questions from students at 9 a.m.
Trudeau said he’s always had a deep connection to Prince Edward Island. He said he’s spent time on the Island first with his father, then with his wife, Sophie, and now with his family including his children, Xavier James and Ella-Grace.
The Trudeau family vacationed in P.E.I. this summer.
“We spent a little time, just Sophie and I, before the kids, at a great little B&B in North Rustico. Spent some time, obviously, at Cavendish Beach. But also spent time in the west end (of the province), where you don’t get too many tourists.
“Our favorite little beach is Greenwich. We love that particular spot. We went back there this summer.”
…. For more from The Guardian’s interview with Justin Trudeau pick up a copy of The Guardian on Monday. For the latest on Trudeau’s visit to the Island, log on to our website at www.theguardian.pe.ca throughout the day on Monday.