GEORGETOWN ROYALTY - Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says he is pleased his party has drawn attention to the economic plight of the middle class in Canada and vowed to develop party policies that will help cure middle income woes.
The party wrapped up its national caucus meetings in Prince Edward Island Thursday morning with MPs and senators saying they want to consult with Canadians on the issues of concern and importance to them as the party develops its platform for 2015.
A key area of focus for Trudeau since his leadership campaign has been the middle class, and in P.E.I. Thursday, he said he believes he has successfully made this part of the national dialogue.
"A year ago when I launched my campaign, nobody was talking about the middle class in this country and how we have a middle class that is stagnated, their revenues have flattened and costs are increasing," Trudeau told reporters.
"We as a party are bringing that conversation to Canadians and developing the solutions that we're going to need to offer a better government in 2015."
Trudeau's visit to P.E.I. was a public relations success for the party in showcasing the young leader as dynamic and able to connect with the average citizen.
A walk in downtown Charlottetown earlier in the week literally stopped traffic and a barbeque at Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay's home in Midgell Wednesday evening drew a crowd of over 1,000 people.
Liberal House Leader Domonic LeBlanc said the enthusiasm of Islanders coupled with the national media attention the party's caucus meetings in P.E.I. generated this week shows the party is gaining momentum.
"In many ways people are voting now with their feet, if they wait an hour to park a car with a volunteer firefighter department in St. Peter's, Prince Edward Island on a cold, end-of-summer evening... that means that they're interested," LeBlanc said.
"The challenge for us is to continue to do the work that we've been doing. Nobody has any allusions - to jump from the third party into government is a big leap... but we have a leader in Justin Trudeau that has captured the imagination of Canadians in a way we haven't seen for a generation. That means we have at least an opportunity to be relevant again."
Trudeau will next travel to Nova Scotia for a party rally in Sydney.
For a full wrap of the Liberal caucus meetings in P.E.I., check back to The Guardian's website later today. Full details in tomorrow's print edition.