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A glance at those three undone buttons is enough to incite Trudeaumania all over again.
Alex Ramadan/the Gauntlet

Getting personal with Justin Trudeau

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Between chairing the Can-adian youth volunteer program Katimavik and working on a master of arts degree at McGill University, it's a wonder Justin Trudeau has time to be in the spotlight anymore.

The 34 year-old son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau visited Calgary last week as the keynote speaker at the 40th anniversary dinner for the faculty of social work, getting white-hatted in the process.

"Honourary Calgarian, my dad would be so proud," joked Trudeau at the gala.

Trudeau, however is not to be taken lightly. Should he ever decide to run for Liberal leadership, he will be a serious contender for the job.

"There's a lot of things I want to achieve," said Trudeau. "Some of them would be able to be achieved through politics, but not all of them."

For now though, Trudeau said he despises being asked when he will run, and only recently bought his first Liberal party membership.

"We each need to find our own path," he said. "Not take on a path because our father did."

Despite his reluctance to live in his father's Liberal shadow, Trudeau still treads into the political arena from time to time. He was recently involved in the Liberal Party's renewal commission to reexamine the state of the party. During the review He presented a report with recommendations to engage youth in the political process.

"Young people in general care about issues," Trudeau said of his report. "How can we make it not about a few people being the leaders, but empowering everyone to have their say."

His contribution to Liberal politics did not end with the renewal commission. Trudeau has also received a fair amount of criticism for lending his opinion on the current leadership race.

In an interview with the Globe and Mail, Trudeau endorsed the campaign of Gerard Kennedy for leadership, and had earlier come out against front runners Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff.

"Instead of talking about the environment, or the economy, we're talking about definitions and pettiness," Trudeau said of Ignatieff's comment that Canada should recognize Quebec as a nation. "That's why I was so upset with [Ignatieff] when he chose to open this can of worms."

But, for now, Trudeau is content acting as the voice to a generation by trying to engage Canadian youth.

"We look at our young people and tell them that they are the leaders of tomorrow," he said. "We don't need our young people to be leaders of tomorrow, we need them to be leaders today. We need every young person, not just the ones who get 90s in school and are going to be fine, but the average kids. Everyone has to feel that they have a role to play, that they have things to contribute."

As board chairman for Katimavik, Trudeau encourages students to join the national service program before starting university.

"Katimavik is Canada's national service program." said Trudeau. "If a young person wants to serve their country, Katimavik is the best way to do it."

He would also like to see service programs diversified to include different focuses.

"We need to reach out to young people to give them opportunities to get involved, a program like Katimavik but 10 times bigger," added Trudeau. "You have a Katimavik-style program, you have a provincial program, you have a local program, you have an overseas program, you have a military option. All these ways a government can say to its young people, 'Look we want you to develop skills, here are the various options.'"

Trudeau's own experience is as varied as the youth he seeks to engage. Before being an advocate for youth, he taught French and drama to grade five students in Vancouver, but it was the moving and well-articulated eulogy at his father's funeral in 2000 that once again thrust him onto the national stage.

"We knew that we were the luckiest kids in the world, and that we had done nothing to actually deserve it," Trudeau said for his father's eulogy. "It was instead something that we would have to spend the rest of our lives to work very hard to live up to."

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