Justin Trudeau says a marriage in politics has its 'ups and downs'

In a wide-ranging interview with CBC News Network's Power & Politics, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who is promoting his memoir, concedes politics can take a toll on his marriage and says at times his wife Sophie Grégoire even "hates" his job.
CBC's Evan Solomon interviews Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau 22:16

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who is talking this week about his personal memoir Common Ground, concedes politics can take a toll on his marriage and says at times his wife Sophie Grégoire even "hates" his job.

In a wide-ranging interview Tuesday on CBC News Network's Power & Politics, Trudeau offers new details about his personal life and the demands that politics puts on him and his young family.

"I have a very difficult, high-pressured job. Everyone knows how challenging it is to balance family responsibilities with a job that takes me across the country and working extremely hard," Trudeau told host Evan Solomon. There are times when she hates my job and she hates me for loving my job."

"There are times, there are times when she understands how much of an opportunity and a responsibility it is for us to actually serve this country that has given us so much."

In the book, Trudeau recounts how he met Grégoire, a former Quebec TV and radio host, at a fundraising gala in Montreal in 2003. They married two years later.

"Our marriage isn't perfect, and we have had difficult ups and downs, yet Sophie remains my best friend, my partner, my love. We are honest with each other, even when it hurts."
Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire celebrate after he won the federal Liberal leadership on April 14, 2013, in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Asked point blank by Solomon if that's "coded language for extramarital affairs," Trudeau said "No."

"This is a conversation about the kinds of challenges that any real marriage goes through. Tremendous ups and downs, but as I say we are deeply in love and committed to each other and we continue to be."

Grégoire has been open about her earlier struggles with bulimia and has campaigned to raise awareness about eating disorders. 

The two have three small children: Xavier, Ella-Grace and Hadrien.

Trudeau tells Solomon the memoir is neither a policy document nor a tell-all but rather a manifesto in which he outlines why he wants to be Canada's next prime minister.

"For me, it's not about airing all my private, personal details — although some of them are in there. It's very much about having people understand the experiences that shaped me as an individual and why I feel that my vision for this country is more suited to leading this country than the current guy."

Trudeau said the next federal election will be fought on the economy and the outcome will be decided by "who has a plan to grow our economy and help Canadians through difficult times."

"Canadians need help. The middle class in this country hasn't had a raise in 30 years. The median family income has barely moved – 15 per cent – when our economy has more than doubled in size."

Trudeau said a Liberal government would spend any budget surplus on infrastructure and education.

The Liberal leader also repeated an earlier statement that he would repeal several tax measures brought in by Stephen Harper's Conservatives.


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