Thursday, April 17, 2008

Justin Trudeau - The Future of Canada?


As President of the Georgian Triangle Real Estate Board, I attended the Canadian Real Estate Association's Annual Conference last week in Gatineau, Quebec. The keynote speaker for the event was Justin Trudeau. Justin is of course the eldest son of the late Pierre Elliot Trudeau. A little known fact is that Justin is only the second child in history to be born during a father's term as Prime Minister. The last was Sir John A. Macdonald's youngest daughter Margaret.

Like his father, Justin posseses a charismatic demeanor, is an adept public speaker and is passionate about his intent on "making a difference" in this world we live. To that end, he is currently teaching school in Montreal with the belief that playing a role in the education of today's youth will in fact impact our future. When asked about a future in politics Justin replied: "..it's not about if, it's when...." He did in fact win the nomination as Liberal candidate for the Montreal riding of Papineau in April 2007.

Justin is an advocate of several causes including safety in winter sports, stemming from the avalanche death of his younger brother Michel during a ski trip in 1998. Another passion he demonstrated during his speech is the environment. Upon walking to the podium, Justin promptly removed a previously placed (obviously on purpose) bottle of water noting that his refusal to drink "bottled water" was one small thing he can do to help the environment.

At this point in history, there seems to be a lacking of obvious or stand-out choices in terms of selecting a politician(s) to lead us, be it municipally, provincially or federally. The same can be said of the U.S. as is evidenced by the current Presidential race. Voter turn-out no matter what level of government is up for election continues to erode perhaps the result of having such a lacklustre field of candidates to choose from.

Perhaps it will take a Justin Trudeau to reinvigorate the public's faith in the political process and in politicians in general. If Justin truly does "want to make a difference" his chance to do so may be coming sooner than later.

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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.