A young New Brunswicker is campaigning to erect a statue of another New Brunswicker on Parliament Hill.
Jordan Grondin, 16, spent Canada Day collecting signatures in his quest to build a statue of R.B. Bennett in Ottawa. Bennett led the country between 1930 and 1935, some of the worst years of the Great Depression.
Grondin, who was born near Bennett's home in Hopewell Hill, first learned of the Conservative prime minister as part of a school project.
"I feel that as a New Brunswicker it is very important that we keep the history so that future generations will be able to see and learn about former prime ministers," he said.
Many others have attempted the same feat, without success. John Diefenbaker, another former prime minister, tried and failed to get a Bennett statue.
Harper backs campaign
Grondin has been emailing and phoning local and federal politicians to press his case. He also set up a Facebook page to garner attention.
He says he has won him the support of the current prime minister, Stephen Harper, and of former leader John Turner. Turner wrote a newspaper article supporting Grondin's campaign.
Friends of the teenager said his energetic effort comes as no surprise. Wendy Ranger said Grondin is bound to succeed.
"He's very passtionate about his project. He will accomplish what he's doing because he won't stop until he gets that statue in Ottawa," she said.
Grondin, showing his political colours with a blue shirt and tie, said the Harper government will make it happen.
"I am determined I am going to get this done. With the Conservative majority that is supportive of getting a statue on Parliament Hill of R.B. Bennett, it will happen," he said. "This is the beginning of a long road of politics. Someday you'll see me in the prime minister's office with a huge majority."
Grondin plans to gather thousands of signatures by the fall, when he will take his petition to Ottawa. He hopes that a private members bill for R.B. Bennett's statue will then be introduced in the House of Commons.