News, Politics

Justin Trudeau New Leader Of Federal Liberals

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Image: Jean-Marc Carisse
Justin Trudeau is the new leader of the Federal Liberal Party. Image: Jean-Marc Carisse

Justin Trudeau is the new leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

The Liberals are one of Canada’s federal political parties.

Justin Trudeau is the son of Pierre Trudeau, who was the Prime Minister of Canada for more than 15 years in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.* Pierre Trudeau was a charismatic and outspoken leader and when he was in power he inspired a wave of what was called “Trudeaumania.”

A similar kind of Trudeaumania swept the Liberal Party on Sunday, where Justin Trudeau won the leadership of the party by a landslide. He took more than 80 per cent of the vote, winning handily on the first ballot.

Trudeau has a big challenge—to get the Liberal party focused again, and eventually to get it back in power. He wants to be Canada’s next prime minister.

To do that, he’ll have to tackle the Conservatives (the party that is in power now) and the NDP, which is the country’s Opposition party (in second place).

Already the Conservatives are running “attack ads” on TV that criticize Trudeau’s lack of experience and question his ability to make good decisions.

Trudeau is 41 years old and has only been in politics since 2008, when he was elected as a Member of Parliament (MP).

Because of his father’s long and eventful tenure as Prime Minister of Canada, many Canadians have been watching Justin Trudeau carefully to see if he, too, would make a run for the job. Now it appears that he will.

Although he has his father’s legacy—good and bad—to increase people’s awareness of him, he will also have to contend with the people who say he’s too young and doesn’t have enough experience for the role.

In the meantime, Trudeau has already participated in “question period”** in the House of Commons, asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper to account for some items in the government’s budget. After question period, Trudeau faced reporters for the first time as the leader of the Liberals.

When asked about the attack ads, he said Canadians are tired of the “negativism” of the Conservatives and he intends to be more positive.

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*Pierre Trudeau was the 15th Prime Minister of Canada, from April 1968 to June 1979 and from March 1980 to June 1984. Trudeau died in 2000. (Wikipedia)

**”Question period,” which happens every working day in the House of Commons, gives the political parties a chance to ask the government questions about their policies and actions.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
In today’s article, Trudeau said “Canadians are tired of the “negativism” of the Conservatives and he intends to be more positive.” What do you think is a more convincing style of ad, positive or negative? Why do you think so?

Reading Prompt: Text Features
Asterisks ( * ) are used in today’s article uniquely. How are they being used? Why might an author choose to use asterisks in this way?

Primary & Junior
Identify a variety of text features and explain how they help readers understand texts (OME, Reading: 2.3).

Intermediate
Identify a variety of text features and explain how they help communicate meaning (OME, Reading: 2.3).

Grammar Feature: Parentheses ( )
Parentheses are punctuation marks that are used by authors in order to tell extra information. For example, the sentence below includes two sets of parentheses because the author has included two extra pieces of extra information,

“To do that, he’ll have to tackle the Conservatives (the party that is in power now) and the NDP, which is the country’s Opposition party (in second place).”

The rule of using parentheses is that the sentence must make sense when the words enclosed are not read (omitted).

Read the sentences below and, using the tip above, put a check beside the sentences that use parentheses correctly.

1. Jimmy (whose sister went to camp with me) is really tall. _______________
2. My friends and I (will shop) until 3:30. ____________
3. The longest book I ever read (The Lord of the Rings) was also the best one. ____________
4. My dance class (is downtown) tonight. _______________
5. How many times does he (and his dog) go for walks? __________________