Justin Trudeau and Stephen Harper meet as transition begins

Outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau on Wednesday afternoon, marking a beginning in the official transition between the two leaders.

Trudeau's office describes meeting with Harper as 'positive' and 'very generous'

Trudeau and Harper meet

8 years ago
Duration 3:14
Outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper had a "very generous" discussion with prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau

Outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper had a "very generous" discussion with prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau as the two met on Wednesday afternoon, marking a beginning in the official transition of power between the leaders.

Trudeau led the Liberal Party to a majority government in Monday's election, sending the governing Conservatives to the opposition ranks.

"They had a positive meeting and the discussion was very generous," said Cameron Ahmad, a spokesman for Trudeau in an email to CBC News.

While neither party would say what the two leaders discussed, earlier in the day Trudeau told CBC the transition was "going well."

Trudeau was seen entering the Langevin Block, where Harper's office is located, late this afternoon.

Within a half hour, Harper waved to reporters as he left in a black SUV.

"The transition meeting took place," confirmed Catherine Loubier, a spokesperson for Harper in an email to CBC News.

Trudeau announced on Tuesday he will be naming a cabinet on Nov. 4, just one of the tasks on the Liberal leaders' to-do list as the transition of power begins.

The transition also includes figuring out when the current occupant of 24 Sussex Drive will move out.

Behind the scenes, Trudeau is being briefed on upcoming visits to international summits such as the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

U.S. President Barack Obama called Trudeau on Tuesday to congratulate him on his party's victory. 

Trudeau said he had also spoken with the leaders of Mexico, the U.K., France and Italy.

Justin Trudeau meets briefly with Stephen Harper

8 years ago
Duration 1:03
Harper left after the brief meeting and acknowledged the media with a wave as he passed by

Prior to his meeting with Harper, Trudeau spent approximately an hour in Centre Block where his own office is located.

He was greeted with congratulatory handshakes and more requests for selfies.

On his way out of the Parliament Buildings, a group of elementary school students who were on a trip to Ottawa from the Webber Academy in Calgary started to cheer for him.

"Trudeau! Trudeau! Trudeau!," chanted the sixth graders who had been waiting eagerly for the chance to catch a glimpse of Canada's next prime minister after a tour of Parliament.

Trudeau waved and thanked the students for their support and blew them a kiss before getting into his car.

Jennifer Leong, a teacher who was accompanying the students from Calgary, described the Trudeau sighting as a highlight of their trip.

"They've just been very excited about the possibility of getting to see him today," she said as some of her students compared the pictures they had just snapped of Trudeau.

Leong said the school sends 60 students who study democracy on a trip to Ottawa every year.

Justin Trudeau cheered by Calgary school kids

8 years ago
Duration 1:53
CBC reporter Hannah Thibedeau runs into the Prime Minister-designate as school kids chant his name

Harper's tenure as Canada's sixth longest serving prime minister has come to an end after leading the Conservative Party through three consecutive mandates spanning nearly a decade.

He will remain in MP as the party moves to put in a process to select a new interim leader.

Obama called Harper today to thank him for his work and to wish him well 

"The two leaders noted the progress on trade and security that 6 ½ years of close co-operation has produced," said a statement from the White House.

"In particular, they noted the successful conclusion of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, which promises to boost economic growth and support good-paying jobs on both sides of the border."

On Thursday, Harper and Trudeau will be seen publicly together for the first time since Monday's election during a ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa to commemorate the lives of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, the two Canadian soldiers who were killed in separate attacks on Parliament Hill and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu last October.


  • This story has been updated from a previous version to make it clear that Wednesday's meeting marked the beginning in a process of transition of power between Prime Minister Stephen and prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau. The official transition will take place on Nov. 4.
    Oct 22, 2015 10:05 AM ET

With files from CBC's Hannah Thibedeau