Justin Trudeau arrives on P.E.I., caucus in tow
Liberal leader talks pot, transparency
The full Liberal caucus, including leader Justin Trudeau, 33 Senators, dozens of MPs and their staff, are now converging on Prince Edward Island for a three-day caucus meeting where they plan to discuss policies and set out their agenda for the fall session of Parliament.
The troop is meeting at the Rodd Resort in Brudenell, but it was Justin Trudeau's arrival in Charlottetown that created a sense of excitement as he walked up Queen Street talking to Islanders and tourists.
On Victoria Row, he stopped for the media to discuss his style of leadership and openness.
"You can see the veil of secrecy, the spin, the hiding from the truth constantly coming out and the contrast of transparency, openness and honesty is what this country needs," he said.
Trudeau said he's received "almost universal" praise for his frank admission that he smoked marijuana after becoming a member of Parliament.
Young and old alike seemed almost giddy at the prospect of meeting him. They sought his autograph or to have their picture taken with him; several spontaneously thanked him, as one middle-aged woman put it, "for telling the truth, Justin, no matter what."
"The conversations I've had with Canadians have almost universally been about people pleased with the level of openness and transparency that a Canadian politician is demonstrating," Trudeau said.
Political opponents, in particular the governing Conservatives, have accused Trudeau of flouting the law and demonstrating that he's unfit to govern.
Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea said it was reckless for the Island's three Liberal MPs to publically endorse legalizing marijuana.
The transparency theme will be carried over into Wednesday's national caucus meeting, where MPs and senators are to get a look at how they will go about posting their expenses online, starting this fall in keeping with a promise Trudeau made last spring in the midst of the Senate expenses scandal.
In addition to transparency and ethics, Trudeau said the caucus retreat will be focused on the economic challenges facing Canada's struggling middle class.
with files from the Canadian Press