Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister-designate of Canada (elected on Oct 20, 2015)
Trudeau was born in Ottawa and attended Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf. He earned a BA (1994) in English literature from McGill University and a BEd (1998) from the University of British Columbia and first came to attention in October, 2000, when he delivered a eulogy at his father’s state funeral. After graduating, he worked as a teacher in Vancouver, studied engineering, and began a masters degree in Environmental Geography. He also used his public profile to advocate for various causes and acted in the 2007 TV miniseries The Great War.
After becoming more involved in politics after his father’s death, Trudeau was elected in the 2008 federal election to represent the riding of Papineau in the House of Commons. In 2009, he was appointed the Liberal Party’s critic for Youth and Multiculturalism and the following year became critic for Youth and Citizenship and Immigration. In 2011 he was appointed as critic for Post Secondary Education and Youth and Amateur Sport. Trudeau won the 2013 Liberal Party leadership election, thereafter leading the party to a majority victory in the 2015 federal election, moving the third-placed Liberals from 36 seats to 184 seats, the largest-ever numerical increase by a party in a Canadian election.
Trudeau first met Sophie Grégoire when they were both children growing up in Montreal, as Grégoire was a classmate and childhood friend of Trudeau’s youngest brother, Michel. They reconnected as adults in June 2003, when Grégoire, by then a Quebec television personality, was assigned as Trudeau’s co-host for a charity ball; they began dating several months later. Trudeau and Grégoire became engaged in October 2004 and married on May 28, 2005, in a Catholic ceremony at Montreal’s Sainte-Madeleine d’Outremont Church. They have three children: Xavier James (born October 2007), Ella-Grace Margaret (February 2009) and Hadrien (born February 2014).
In June 2013, two months after Trudeau became the leader of the Liberal Party, he and his wife sold their home in the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood of Montreal. They began living in a rented home in Ottawa’s Rockcliffe Park, the neighbourhood in which Trudeau resided as a child during his father’s time as Prime Minister.
Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
Stephen Harper was sworn in as Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister on February 6, 2006.
Mr. Harper was first elected to the House of Commons in the 1993 federal election as the Reform Party’s candidate in Calgary West. He left Parliament in 1997 to become Vice President (and later President) of the National Citizens’ Coalition, a prominent Canadian advocacy organization. In 2002, he became Leader of the Opposition after winning the leadership of the Canadian Alliance and a subsequent by-election in Calgary Southwest.
In 2003, Mr. Harper co-founded the Conservative Party of Canada and went on to contest and win the new party’s leadership.
As Conservative leader, Mr. Harper ran in the 2004 federal election and increased the Conservatives’ standing in the House of Commons by 25 seats, including an important breakthrough in Ontario. On January 23, 2006, Mr. Harper led the Conservative Party to power by winning 124 seats in Canada’s 39th federal election.
As Prime Minister, Mr. Harper is committed to building a Canada that remains strong, united, independent and free. He is committed to enacting accountability measures for government, lowering taxes for working families, reforming the criminal justice system, helping parents cope with the costs of child care and negotiating a patient wait times guarantee with the provinces.
Stephen Harper was born on April 30, 1959, in Toronto, Ontario. He moved to Alberta in 1978 to work in the petroleum industry and went on to obtain both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Calgary. Stephen Harper is an honorary member of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation. Mr. Harper and his wife, Laureen (Teskey) Harper, have two children, Benjamin and Rachel, and maintain a permanent home in Calgary.