Heart defect doesn't stop London teen from becoming Prime Minister
Aiden Anderson had a packed agenda on Wednesday.
It started with a tour of Parliament Hill in Ottawa, followed by lunch with London MP Kate Young. Then it was off to a news conference with Ottawa reporters. The afternoon was capped by a face-to-face meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his office in the Centre Block.
Not a bad day for a 15-year-old from London who usually would have been in class at Sir Frederick Banting High School.
Anderson has a congenital heart defect. He's had four open-heart surgeries and many ambulance rides and hospital visits.
His trip to Ottawa came with the help of Make-A-Wish Canada.
"I've done a lot today," said the teen. "I have taken a tour of the lovely parliament buildings. I've seen the House of Commons. I wanted to see the tower but unfortunately it was closed."
When Anderson arrived at the Ottawa airport Monday, he got the full Prime Ministerial treatment from the Royal Canadian Mountain Police, including an escort. He also had the opportunity to participate in an RCMP Special Forces mock hostage situation.
"That was pretty exciting," he said.
Getting his wish took a couple of years but Anderson never doubted it would be worth it.
"I kept thinking to myself that I don't care how long this takes," he said. "This is going to be worth everything that I've had to go through in my life and so far it has been."
Before meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau, Anderson was allowed to go into the House of Commons and sit in his chair.
"Just being in the same place that our founders were in discussing how Canada's going to be a country, how everything about Canada has happened over the last few years, it's just breath-taking," he said.
When Anderson did get to sit down with Trudeau he said he asked questions about Canada's involvement on a number of issues including NATO, terrorism, the Middle East and Africa.
"It was cool," said Anderson. "We only got a few minutes because, as you know, he [Trudeau] has a very busy schedule."
Why Prime Minister for a day?
Anderson was asked why, when he could probably wish for anything from the Make-A-Wish organization, he would choose to become the Right Honourable Aiden Anderson.
"That's kind of long. I prefer just prime minister," he retorted. "I wanted to be prime minister just because I've always been fascinated with politics."
It's a fascination he plans to foster telling reporters during his news conference.
"I'd like everyone here to please remember my name, Aiden Anderson. That way, when I run for prime minister later on in my life you can all vote for me."