July 23, 2013 - 5:23 PM
VERNON - Justin Trudeau's mission is to make Canadians love politics again. That's what he told a crowd of more than 300 in Vernon's Polson Park Tuesday afternoon.
"We were hoping people would be interested in the approach, just come out to the park and talk politics," Trudeau said in a media conference after posing for pictures and chatting with members of the public. "This isn't a policy seminar, this isn't a big heavy speech.... It's about people choosing to come out, that's a concrete political act."
He said Canadians have become cynical and divided, and that's something he wants to change.
"It's about putting Canadians back in Canadian politics," he said.
With "enormous challenges", from environmental issues to human rights, facing the country, he said Canadians need to stand together.
"We know we have to lean on each other. Over the past years there's been a faltering of that," he said.
Trudeau applauded people in the audience for toting anti-GMO signs and exercising their democratic right to speak up about issues they care about.
"My biggest problem with this government (is that) it lacks ambition for this country," he said. "We are better than that."
As a third year political science student at UBCO, Shaun Campbell, 22, was excited to meet Trudeau.
"I think he's an interesting Canadian politician," Campbell said. "He's able to engage all ages. I think he'll make some noise in the next election. I certainly hope he will."
Trudeau said he was "blown away" by the support he's seen in the Okanagan, and doesn't owe it solely to name recognition.
"We're not filling a park in the Okanagan because people were huge fans of Pierre Trudeau, he wasn't particularly successful in this part of the world," he said. "I think whether people liked him or didn't, they had a level respect for him that leads to thinking maybe he did a pretty good job of raising his sons and maybe his son has something to offer that we can connect with."
"The most important thing for me is to actually start to establish a connection with people," he said of his intimate visit. "We'll be back again soon."
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013