Since the votes for Canada’s Federal election came streaming in, Monday evening, Canada has been buzzing about the Liberal Party’s widespread sweep of parliament seats, and Justin Trudeau’s victory over 9-year Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Change is in the air- the Liberals took 188 seats, for a majority government, while the conservatives managed to secure only 99 seats and the NDP took 44.
If you’re here on a Work or Study Permit, or you’re a permanent resident, you didn’t get to cast your vote. But chances are you’ve been tuned into the exciting political landscape during this lengthy election season. If so, you’re likely aware of Justin Trudeau’s campaign promises to abolish the first-past-the-post voting system, introduce a new Canada Child Benefit for parents, create a new infrastructure bank, improve Canada’s relations with the U.S, set national targets for emissions reduction, and possibly legalize marijuana.
Maybe you also know that Justin Trudeau comes from a rather prominent political family. He is the son of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, a Prime Minister who led the Liberal Party to victory in 1968 and held the position for a total of 15 years in the 1970s and 1980s. But in honor of his victory, we’ve got a list 12 cool facts about Justin Trudeau that may come as a surprise.
1) He was a Christmas Baby.
Justin Trudeau was born on Christmas Day, 1971. Oddly enough, his brother Alexandre was also born on Christmas Day in 1973.
2) He’s been open to considering Quebec Sovereignty
Justin Trudeau told Radio-Canada in early 2012 that he could be in favor of Quebec’s departure from Canada if Canada becomes “The Canada of Stephen Harper,” and if Federal policies were made against abortion and gay marriage. His remarks led Conservatives to accuse him of being a “closet separatist.”
3) He and his wife vetoed cake.
Justine Trudeau married Sophie Grégoire (a former television personality and long-time friend of the Trudeau family) on October 18, 2004, which is his late father’s birthday. For their wedding, the couple nixed serving traditional wedding cake in favor of a selection of other desserts. Reportedly, Sophie held the opinion that wedding cake is tacky.
4) He’s the first Prime Minister-designate with ink.
Perhaps breaking some stereotypes of straight-laced politicians, or maybe just showing that the times are a-changing, when Justin Trudeau was elected he became the first Prime Minister to sport a tattoo. In fact, he sort of has two of them. On his left shoulder, is an earth inside a Haida raven. The raven was a birthday gift to himself when he turned 40, and the globe was inked when he was 23 years old.
5) He’s a true political baby.
It’s rare that babies are born to Prime Ministers while they are in office. Justin Trudeau was of only four babies to be born this way. John A. Macdonald’s youngest daughter Margaret Mary Macdonald was the first. And after Trudeau, his younger brothers, Alexandre and Michel became the third and fourth.
6) He’s a video game character.
Canada is an economic and military world superpower in the sci-fi video games Deus Ex: Human Revolution. In the game, Justin Trudeau is Canada’s Prime Minister.
7) He will be one of the youngest Canadian Prime Ministers ever.
Justin Trudeau is only 43 years old, making him the second youngest person elected as Prime Minister in Canadian history. Only Joe Clark who was elected at age 39 years in 1979 (defeating Justin Trudeau’s Father) was elected at a younger age.
8) He’s a wild snowboarder.
According to his friends, it’s dangerous to ride down a mountain behind Justin Trudeau. CBC reported that his snowboard is uncharacteristically long because it’s built for speed. What’s more, Justin Trudeau likes to take lots of sharp turns. Watch out!
9) His cousin is NDP leader Thomas Mulcair.
Well, sort of. According to Ancestry.com, the two political competitors are ninth cousins, and their family ties date back 400 years to their eight great-grandparents. Who knew!
10) He had a stint as an actor.
He must be a multifaceted guy because he’s also been a boxer and an actor. In 2006 Justin Trudeau starred in “The Great War,” a CBC miniseries where we played the lead role as Canadian General Talbot Mercer Papineau.
11) Justin Trudeau hearts boxing
In 2012 Justin Trudeau won a charity boxing match against Conservative senator Patrick Brazeau, who had a black belt in karate and was much larger than Trudeau. Photos and video of the match are still circulating the web like crazy.
12) He has played some funny pranks.
Most notably, this: Justin Trudeau has made an art out of intentionally falling down stairs to shock and amuse people. He would lean on a door frame, then purposely lose his footing and take a long tumble.
If you are relocating to Canada and want to master your move (and learn more about the politics in Canada, sign up for Settle-in.com and get full access to our custom relocation told, guides, and more.
Read more great info about Canada: