Video: Interivew with Justin Trudeau? – The Windsor Independent

Justin Trudeau was in Windsor in January on a media tour following the Liberal Party of Canada Winter Caucus in London Ontario.

Trudeau and I sat down at Caesars Windsor and we discussed topics pertaining to both Windsor and the country more broadly.

2015 Election Campaign

  • he’s “been campaigning for pretty much two years now, since I started running for the leadership”
  • campaigns don’t need to be “as negative as what a lot of people expect”
  • negative, nasty, and divisive election campaigns can yield results, Trudeau doesn’t believe they need be that way

“… my [campaign strategy is] going to be about getting out, meeting with as many people as I can, listening to their concerns, learning about the issues facing the region and building an extraordinary team and a plan to serve,” he said. “… we all know that Canadians are getting cynical about politics, have been for quite a while … but the fact is Canadians, we’re not a cynical people, we don’t like to look at the world that way…”

  • Canadians are “big hearted, ambitious, compassionate, hopeful about the future”
  • He doesn’t believe Canadians should be “shoved into a cynical box … this is something that I didn’t think up on my own, I learnt it from everyone that I meet across the country…”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau?

  • He thinks he can lead the country

“I think Canadians need leadership that understands what is needed in the twenty-first century and the old ‘my way or the highway’, ‘you’re with us or against us’ just doesn’t work for a country as broad and diverse as Canada,” he said. “We need someone who understands the importance of collaborative, cooperative leadership, who respects the provinces, listens to municipal leaders, understands the concerns of different sectors and pledges to work with them.”

“… leadership is surrounding yourself with the smartest possible people the best possible people, and getting them to work together in the service of the country and I think that’s exactly what Canadians want to see and I’m very humbled to see them responding.”

Electoral Reform?

  • “absolutely”
  • Canada needs to move past first past the post and he’d like to see the implementation of a ranked ballot

“We need to move beyond first past the post, it just doesn’t make sense in the twenty first century in Canada that we have governments elected, even majoritarily, with less than 40 per cent of support of those who came out to vote”

  • His preference is a ranked ballot: “… instead of putting a single X you put I’d like this person, then this person’s my second choice, this person’s my third choice.”

Two reasons to implement a ranked ballot:

  1. “… because it doesn’t require a big change in either our riding maps or electoral system or even the ballots and paper, you just put numbers instead of a single X.”
  2. “The other change will be the way you choose the MP becomes someone who has more than 50 per cent of support of the riding, so that there isn’t someone who can get elected with a small but passionate group.”

“You need to reach out to the majority of the riding, and that reaching out will change the tone of politics.”

  • “… people don’t have to worry about strategic voting, they can vote for who they want, but political parties will be encouraged to reach out and find common ground with opponents and supporters of other parties and that will completely change the tone of our politics.”

Single Sports Betting held up in the senate?

  • “something that requires a serious amount of study”
  • Legislation has “big pros and cons, and the Senate is there to be a place of sober second thought”

“… [it is a] bill that was passed fairly quickly in the house with perhaps not as much study as should have been and senators are taking seriously their responsibility of making sure that the far reaching of consequences of the bill like that are in the best interest of Canadians.”

Partisanship: Need to decrease it?

  • “partisanship itself is not a bad thing” … “It’s good to have an opposition that is holding the government to account”
  • “Problem is when the partisanship takes over any intelligent thought or any real reflection of whether this is a good bill or bad, and because it was brought forward by an opponent it must be a bad bill.”
  • commits to loosening party discipline

“… other than bills that are on things that were spelled out in the Liberal Party platform, that are confidence bills and therefore budget that the government could fall on, or go to the heart of the charter of rights and freedoms, like women’s rights in general, it’s up for debate, it’s up for negotiation.”

“The Liberal government would have to earn the support of the Liberal backbenchers and everyone else through informed debates, through openness to amendments, through making our parliamentary system work the way our parliamentary system is supposed to work…”

Marijuana Legalization

  • Marijuana won’t be legal the day after the election
  • “Yes it will happen fairly quickly that we’re going to legalize and regulate it, but we’re doing so with a few very clear goals in mind”
  • “To protect our kids”

“Underage use of marijuana in Canada is higher than in any other developed country according to a UN study of 29 different countries. So our current prohibition approach is not protecting kids from accessing marihuana, and we can make all sorts of arguments about the fact that marijuana is not as bad as alcohol or cigarettes, but it’s still not a health food supplement and it has impacts on a developing brains, that means we need to protect our kids.”

“If you limit it and control it, at least as much as alcohol, make it harder to get a joint for a young person than it is for them to get a bottle of beer, which is not the case right now, then you’re actually protecting your kids.”

“On top of that, you’re removing the funding stream of millions upon millions of dollars to organized crime and street gangs and that makes no sense for our government to be forgoing these tax revenues while it allows these criminals to be making a huge profit off of it.”

“On top of it, the tax money that comes in can be set towards addiction programs and people who need it and there’ll be a level of quality control while you’re not criminalizing people for making choices as informed adults.”

“All this means it’s time that we did this in a responsible way…”

What would you do about Paul Martin Building?

  •  “it deserves to be restored to an appropriate degree”

I think the Conservative government is missing an opportunity by playing simple partisanship on this. think how it could send a message of generosity and bipartisanship for a conservative government to invest in fixing up an important piece of cultural and political history in windsor and canada, and for me that’s just irresponsible on  behalf and it deserves to be restored to an appropriate degree.”

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jon liedtke

Jon Liedtke is a writer and musician in Windsor Ontario. He tells stories using words, pictures, audio and video.