Only a few people can say that they've grown up having their dad as the Prime Minister of Canada. Considering that, Justin Trudeau and Pierre Trudeau's relationship was colourful and Canadian. Even though Pierre died when Justin was young, their relationship is something that Canadians have always been curious about.
The two had what seems to be a normal relationship just like any other father and son. Well, as normal as a father-son relationship can be when your father is Canada's Prime Minister. We take a deep dive into the family roots and what made their relationship so authentically Canadian.
Though they went on official trips together and had lunch on Parliament Hill, they still did ordinary father-son things together like camping and goofing around.
Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, who knew the Trudeau family when she was a kid, told Macleans that when the kids were playing around and having fun she remembers Pierre "being as if he was part of the group of kids, laughing and goofing around."
Justin was born on December 25, 1971, and is Pierre and Margaret Trudeau's first-born child. His birth made him the second child to be born to a Prime Minister that was currently in office.
Pierre and Margaret separated in May 1977 when Justin was only five years old, though their divorce wasn't finalized until 1984. Pierre actually got custody of Justin and his brothers after the separation but eventually, the parents came to agree on joint-custody.
Though Pierre had sole custody of Justin and his brothers for a while, his job often kept them apart.
One particular memory from Justin's childhood with his father was when they went on an official trip to Alert, Nunavut together.
"I was going to be spending lots of time with my dad because in Ottawa he just worked so hard," Justin recalled of the Nunavut trip which he mentioned in his dad's eulogy in 2000.
His father then took him on what was called a "top secret" mission to a red building and when he went to the window as his father instructed, he saw a man in a red suit with white trim at a worktable.
Seeing Santa made Justin realize how "powerful and wonderful my father was," he said.
Justin told W Magazine in 2008 that his favourite thing to do as a child was going camping with his dad because "that was where our father got to be just our father—a dad in the woods."
Unfortunately, their relationship didn't last for very long. Justin was only 28 years old when his father died on September 28, 2000 at the age of 80. At his dad's funeral, Justin delivered the eulogy that had dignitaries in the audience crying and cheering all within 12 minutes.
In the eulogy, Justin listed different things Pierre was known for like being Prime Minister, a lawyer and a professor but that's not what Justin remembers him as.
"More than anything, to me he was dad. And what a dad. He loved us with a passion and a devotion that encompassed his life," he said.
He ended the eulogy by saying "I love you, dad" in French.
Justin has followed in his father's footsteps. Going into politics, becoming the Prime Minister just like Pierre did in 1968 and 1980, going camping with his own kids and even having his campaign plane get hit by a media bus just like his father's was 40 years ago.
With so much interest in Justin and Pierre's relationship, sometime in the future, there will be all sorts of discussions about the relationship Justin has with his three children.