Hamilton and the federal Liberal party once had a healthy romance going. The Steel City could be counted on to send a few Liberal MPs to Ottawa come election time and counted among them powerhouses John Munro and Sheila Copps.
This was especially true during the heady days of Trudeaumania, in the late 1960s.
Today, Liberal leadership candidate Justin Trudeau hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps and see if he can make history’s magic repeat itself.
He’s visiting Hamilton Wednesday night as part of a mini-tour of the region.
Trudeau, 40, will be at the downtown Sheraton Hotel from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. His staff says he will be joined by Liberal supporters and local community members. Admission is free and members of the public are welcome.
“His old man galvanized Canadians and brought them together like never before,” said well-known local Liberal Bert Allen. “I think this guy can do what his old man did in 1968.”
Trudeau also wants to “meet with Hamilton residents” at the event and speak to them about his “vision for Canada and the Liberal party.”
Justin Trudeau paid a visit to the city on Nov. 19, 2007 to help out Hamilton Mountain Liberal candidate Tyler Banham (now part of Trudeau’s Ontario leadership team). The newly-minted Quebec MP was greeted by more than 100 diehard Liberals at two events. There was a palpable excitement in the air. People pulled him this way and that way to get their picture taken with him and two people proclaimed he would be prime minister one day. He said it was a challenge growing up in his father’s shadow.