They do not see themselves or their values reflected in Ottawa
My friends, we will do better.
This is not a personal indictment of Mr Harper or Mr Mulcair. On the contrary, I honour their commitment and their service. But I think they are both dead wrong about this country. And, I want to tell you, together, we can prove it.
There will be many highs and lows between now and April. And if we work hard and find success, I know there will be many, many more between then and 2015.
I do not present myself as a man with all the answers. In fact, I think we’ve had quite enough of that kind of politics.
But I do know I have a strong sense of this country. Where we’ve been, where we are, and where we want to go. And I believe I can bring new forces to bear on old problems. I can convince a new generation of Canadians that their country needs them. That it values their energy, ingenuity and vision. Together, we can convince young Canadians that serving this great country is its own reward.
I promise you this: if you entrust me with the privilege of leadership, I will work long, hard and tirelessly. I learned first-hand from the people of Villeray, St-Michel and Park Extension that there are no shortcuts, no easy ways to earn trust and support. You have to work at it, day in and day out.
Because that's what it's going to take, and that's what Canadians deserve.
Think about it for a moment: when was the last time you had a leader you actually trusted? And not just the nebulous "trust to govern competently", but actually trusted, the way you trust a friend to pick up your kids from school, or a neighbor to keep your extra front door key? Real trust? That's a respect that has to be earned, step by step.
I feel so privileged to have had the relationship I've had, all my life, with this country, with its land, and with its people.
From my first, determined steps as a toddler to my first, determined steps as a politician: we've travelled many miles together, my friends...
You have always been there for me. You have inspired me, and supported me in good and more difficult times. And you have made me the man and the father I have become.
I chose today to launch this campaign because it is my little brother’s birthday. Michel was killed in an avalanche, doing what he loved, in the country that he loved as much as anyone I have ever known. Michel would be 37 years old today. Every day, I think about him and I remember not to take anything for granted. To live my life fully. And to always be faithful to myself.
At Michel's funeral, my father read from the Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. Paul wrote, “when I was a child, I spoke as a child. But now that I am a man, I put away childish things.”
It is time for us, for this generation of Canadians to put away childish things. More, it is time for all of us to come together and get down to the very serious, very adult business of building a better country. For ourselves, for our fellow Canadians, and for our children.
We Canadians live in a blessed country. We are the most diverse people on Earth, yet we are peaceful. We are tough but we are compassionate. We are confident, but we work hard and we earn it. We have resources that are the envy of the world.
Let us pledge to one another to match those resources with resourcefulness. Let us rededicate ourselves to the glorious, improbable, work-in-progress that is Canada. And to serve its people through the only party willing to speak to and for all Canadians: the Liberal Party of Canada.
So tonight, Sophie and I draw on our love for our family and offer up all we have in service to Canada, and to each and every one of you.
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