COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN
Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Brandon-Souris Liberal candidate Rolf Dinsdale serve lunch at the Helping Hands soup kitchen on Thursday afternoon.
Newly minted Brandon-Souris Liberal candidate Rolf Dinsdale wasted no time in hitting the campaign trail.
Rolf Dinsdale and Justin Trudeau share a light moment while addressing the media at the Helping Hands soup kitchen on Thursday afternoon.
(COLIN CORNEAU/ BRANDON SUN)
Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, centre, poses for a picture with Tim Hortons employees while out with newly minted candidate Rolf Dinsdale, back right, on Thursday morning. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
A Tim Hortons employee snaps a photo of Trudeau on Thursday morning. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
The morning after his successful nomination, Dinsdale was joined by federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau who was in Brandon for a whirlwind visit — his second stop here within three weeks.
"It’s a great way to launch the campaign and I couldn’t be more happy to see Justin in town — again," Dinsdale said. "It demonstrates he cares about the Westman region and what a commitment the Liberals have to making a difference here."
Dinsdale defeated Killarney/Turtle Mountain Mayor Rick Pauls Wednesday at the Liberal nomination meeting, which attracted nearly 200 people.
"Obviously both Rick and Rolf are tremendously strong candidates, so to be able to give people that kind of choice is always good for democracy," Trudeau said. "It’s been a great day with Rolf … we’re really focused, and he’s focused on rolling up his sleeves and getting the hard work done, demonstrating we’re an alternative to Mr. Harper."
Trudeau and Dinsdale started the day at the Lions Manor seniors residence before stopping in at Tim Hortons on 18th Street, a surprise to many patrons who were having their morning coffee.
"We were just in here and saw a bunch of cameras," said Patty Kuharski of Neepawa.
Trudeau introduced himself to Kuharski and Linda King, also of Neepawa.
"I just like the fact that he’s younger, he’s more to our generation," Kuharski said. "I don’t follow politics whatsoever but when I see him on TV, I do stop and watch."
King said she is "quite excited" about Trudeau’s approach to politics.
"I just think that we need to get rid of the old attitudes," she said. "We need to get in with the new and what’s relevant, and I’m excited about that."
Lindsay Rystephanuk was visiting with friend Ian Dunn when Trudeau came to speak with them.
"He is a Canadian icon and I think he’s representing the young way of thinking …We’ve been stuck in the old way for quite a while," Rystephanuk said.
For Dunn, it was the second Trudeau he has shaken hands with. Back in the late 1970s, he met former prime minister Pierre Trudeau.
"For you, (Trudeau) is what his dad was for me," Dunn said. "He’s a bright kid, there’s no doubt about that. He’s got big shoes to fill."
Rystephanuk, a longtime Brandon resident, said he is a "staunch blue" Conservative. However, with recent events he’s considering other options.
"I used to be a ... ‘don’t talk to me’ kind of voter because my mind is set, but … there’s things going on that I might not agree with, and I am now looking on the other side of the fence," he said.
A group of supporters also showed up at the coffee shop to speak with Trudeau and snap a few photos.
"I think it’s time for some change and … I’m excited about the opportunity that we have in the Brandon-Souris area to make a difference," Phyllis Crosson said.
Len Neufeld said he has "admired (Trudeau) from a distance for a while."
"To me, (Dinsdale) still represents an unknown, but … at least we had a democratic process to elect a candidate," he said.
The next stop for Trudeau and Dinsdale was the Helping Hands Soup Kitchen, where they served lunch to approximately 75 people.
Adrien Perreault uses the soup kitchen nearly every day, and said it was "marvellous" to see Trudeau greet the patrons. Perreault and Trudeau exchanged pleasantries in French.
"It’s not every day you meet a guy like that. It’s fantastic," he said. "I’m not really into politics, but I hope he makes it. After all his dad was the prime minister … You never know, it could happen."
After shaking hands and posing for countless photos at the soup kitchen, Trudeau took off to catch a plane back to Ontario. He said he hopes to be back in Brandon again soon.
"I was glad to be here twice already and I’m going to do everything I can to get back because it’s really important that people understand that there’s a better option," he said.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 11, 2013