On Monday, November 9, approximately 200 students gathered in the Student Centre to hear Justin Trudeau, the son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Along with former MP for the Mississauga-Erindale riding, Omar Alghabra, Trudeau discussed the importance speak of youth involvement in politics.
Trudeau announced three years ago that he would follow the same career path his father embarked upon over three decades ago. Formerly a social sciences and French teacher, Trudeau expressed his passion for youth advocacy and fervour for Canadian nationalism and heritage preservation. Over the last few years, Trudeau has made appearances at various secondary schools around Mississauga to connect with the youth with the goal of initiating political interest and discussion.Trudeau stood before students and announced that he did not intend to give a lecture about political issues or create partisans out of the attendees. His declared his intention to facilitate discussion on youth involvement. Trudeau expressed the necessity of being an active citizen and hold a government to its name adding that Canada needs to earn back its youth. Politicians’ best devices are their ears, and unfortunately many of them have things completely ass-backwards. Ottawa should be a reflection of the voices of the country said Trudeau in his opening speech.
The audience listened attentively as Trudeau addressed the errors of politicians as well as the fallacies of youth. Trudeau urged students to get involved and realize that small actions can make a difference. Young people want things fixed fast, said Trudeau.
He explained that young people want to be acknowledged and appreciated for their efforts and contributions.
Politicians need to give greater opportunities to the many eager young adults that dream of making their mark in the world, he said, adding that young people have the capacity to think differently, to challenge the status quo and to demand solutions.
Trudeau emphasized that youth can and must play a pivotal role in pressuring the government to listen to issues pertaining to youths and have the ability to influence policies.
Looking to the future, Trudeau shed light on Canada’s potential, he stated that Canada is a nation where we should be generating solutions for world issues; instead we have been taught to expect less of our government and of ourselves. The fact is that getting young people to vote is not an end, its a means. Trudeau explained to students that failing to perform when voting day arrives, young adults are subjecting themselves to the deepest indictment.
Trudeau ended the discussion by encouraging attendees to find their niche and realize their capability to achieve. The hour long lecture proceeded to a question and answer period where students had the opportunity to engage in an open dialogue. Many students asked for guidance on how they can get involved locally.
As the event came to an end, a line up of students formed to pose for pictures with Trudeau. “I was so happy to meet with him,” said Steve Winston, third-year Philosophy student.