As the son of one of Canada’s most colourful and polarizing politicians, Justin Trudeau has spent much of his life in the public eye even before embarking on his own political career. Here’s a brief look back at the life of Canada’s new prime minister-designate.
1971: Born December 25 – yes, Christmas Day – in Ottawa, Ont., eldest of Pierre and Margaret Trudeau’s three sons.
1972: At a state dinner, visiting U.S. president Richard Nixon proposes a toast to “the future prime minister of Canada, to Justin Pierre Trudeau.”
1980: March 3 – Pierre Trudeau returns as prime minister, succeeding Joe Clark.
1984: April – Pierre and Margaret Trudeau finalize divorce after separating in 1977.
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1984: June – Pierre Trudeau resigns as prime minister.
1994: Graduates from McGill University with a B.A. in Literature.
1998: Completes B.A. in Education at University of British Columbia.
1998: Brother Michel, 23, dies after an avalanche while skiing in B.C.’s Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park.
1999 – 2002: Teaches drama, French, English, social studies, and math at Vancouver’s West Point Grey Academy and Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School.
2000: Sept. 28 – Pierre Trudeau dies.
2000: Oct. 3 – Justin rises to national prominence with an impassioned eulogy at father’s funeral. Quebec journalist and politician Claude Ryan described the speech as “perhaps… the first manifestation of a dynasty.”
2002: Starts engineering degree at Montreal’s École Polytechnique, but quits in 2004.
2002 – 2006: Chairs Katimavik youth volunteer service program established by his father.
2006: Recruited to chair Liberal Task Force on Youth Renewal.
2007: Stars in CBC TV movie The Great War, playing real-life Quebec First World War hero Talbot Papineau, grandson of Joseph Papineau, whose name bears the riding where Trudeau will later run.
2007: Wins Liberal nomination for Papineau riding.
2008: Elected in historically Liberal riding of Papineau, unseating Bloc Québécois incumbent by 1,189 votes.
2009: Opts not to run for Liberal leadership; Michael Ignatieff becomes party leader.
2011: Re-elected in Papineau.
2012: March – Defeats Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau in a charity boxing match.
2012: June – Announces he won’t seek Liberal leadership.
2012: October – Launches party leadership bid.
2013: Elected leader of the Liberal party, succeeding interim leader Bob Rae, who served after Ignatieff resigned following the party’s resounding defeat in 2011.
2015: Becomes Canada’s second-youngest prime minister (after his father Pierre’s successor, Joe Clark, 39)
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