TORONTO – Justin Trudeau has taken the nation by storm in Canada’s second “Trudeaumania.” He’s due to become the first prime minister born in Ottawa, the eighth with a name that starts with the letter “J” and – quite possibly – the first with a tattoo.
Here are some more fun facts about the Liberal leader:
1. Justin is set to be the first prime minister born in Ottawa.
2. Justin was born on Christmas Day in 1971 (his brother Alexandre was born on Christmas Day in 1973). Justin was only the second child in Canadian history to be born to a serving prime minister. The first was John A. Macdonald’s daughter Margaret Mary Macdonald.
3. Justin will be the first offspring of a former prime minister to be elected prime minister.
4. Justin won the election one day after what would have been his father’s 96th birthday.
5. Justin proposed to Sophie Grégoire on October 18, 2004 – on what would have been his father’s 85th birthday. The couple’s first child, Xavier, was born on Oct. 18, 2007.
6. Justin’s wife Sophie was a classmate and friend of his youngest brother Michel, who died in 1998. She spent a lot of time in the Trudeau home in Montreal.
7. Justin proposed to Sophie in the royal suite at the posh St. James Hotel in Old Montreal after a couples massage with champagne and oysters. They held their wedding reception in the same hotel.
8. Justin and Sophie eschewed the traditional wedding cake at their reception, instead offering guests a selection of desserts. Sophie later said wedding cake is “tacky.”
9. In the 2007 miniseries The Great War, Justin portrayed Talbot Mercer Papineau, a soldier and one of Canada’s first Rhodes Scholars who was killed in the Battle of Passchendaele. The same month he appeared on TV as Papineau, Justin won the nomination for the Quebec riding of Papineau.
10. Justin will become the eighth prime minister with a name that begins with the letter “J.” Of Canada’s 22 prime ministers, there have been five Johns, a Joe and a Jean.
11. When he becomes prime minister, Justin will be the eighth person to do so while in his 40s – more than any other decade. But he won’t be the youngest: Joe Clark was one day shy of his 40th birthday when he took office.
12. The Sinclair Centre in downtown Vancouver is named after Justin’s maternal grandfather James Sinclair, a B.C. MP from 1940 to 1958.
13. Justin has one surviving sibling, Alexandre (their youngest brother Michel died in an avalanche in 1998) and three half-siblings: Kyle Kemper and Alicia Kemper (from his mother’s second marriage) and Sarah Coyne (from his father’s relationship with Susan Coyne). He is an uncle to Alexandre’s three children with wife Zoë Bedos.
14. As far as anyone knows, Justin could become the first prime minister with a tattoo. His left shoulder is covered with a large tattoo of the planet Earth (inked when he was 23) surrounded by a Haida raven (added when he was 40).
15. According to Ancestry.ca, Justin and federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair are ninth cousins. They share a connection that goes back 400 years to their eighth great-grandparents Mathieu Amiot and Marie Miville.
16. In the futuristic video game Deus Ex: Human Revolution, in which Canada has become an economic and military superpower, Justin is listed as Canada’s prime minister.
17. Justin’s wife Sophie worked as a correspondent for eTalk, which is co-hosted by Ben Mulroney, the son of former prime minister Brian Mulroney. Justin’s mother Margaret once co-hosted a TV morning show in Ottawa.
18. Justin’s full name is Justin Pierre James Trudeau. His middle names are those of his father and maternal grandfather, of course. His son’s name is Xavier James Trudeau, which honours Justin’s maternal grandfather. His daughter’s name is Ella-Grace Margaret Trudeau, which recognizes Justin’s mother Margaret and his paternal grandmother Grace Elliot. His youngest son is named Hadrien Trudeau.