Justin Trudeau (B.A. ’94) recently made his return to McGill for the first time since becoming Prime Minister of Canada. As he exited the front doors of the Faculty Club, a rambunctious hoard of McGill students rushed to greet him. Trudeau proceeded to reminisce about his time as a McGill student, and how it helped shape him into the leader he is today.
Trudeau just wrapped up a meeting with the Fijian Prime Minister regarding trade agreements and tariffs. This is a topic that especially stimulates him, but what trumps the feeling of euphoria that he gets from a good handshake and photo-op are the memories he has from the 45th annual Carnival, where he admirably anchored his team, entitled “Cum Campbell,” to boat race victory just a few blocks away at Café Campus.
Suddenly, an RCMP officer on Trudeau’s detail acted like he had an important matter that needed addressing by the Prime Minister. Instead, after the officer yanked Trudeau aside, he presented a 330-ml bottle of Smirnoff Ice to him. Trudeau proceeded to get down on one knee as the crowd of students began to chant, “HERE’S TO JUSTIN, HERE’S TO JUSTIN…”
Trudeau tossed the bottle into the crowd, and continued taking selfies with the students, not wanting to pass up the opportunity to be visible in as many students’ Snapchat stories as possible and further inspire Canada’s future leaders.
At that point, Trudeau’s senior advisor, and fellow McGill alumnus, Gerald Butts (B.A. ’94, M.A. ’96), exited the Faculty Club to join Trudeau. Trudeau gave Butts a light tap on his butt, before winking at him and continuing on to a blacked-out van in a side alleyway. This version of blacking out is different from the one he was familiar with in his years at McGill.
As the motorcade passed Upper Residence, Trudeau and “Gerry-Boy” [sic] debated the merits of approving the Kinder Morgan pipeline, in preparation for an interview he had later that day with the CBC. Trudeau and Butts owe their debating experience to their years on the McGill Debate Team. At this point, Trudeau pensively looked out the window—as if he were in a Celine Dion music video—and saw a picnic table just outside of Gardner Hall. This table reminded him of the many nights he and “G-Sauce” [sic] spent sharing a joint and arguing over whether or not a burrito can be classified as a sandwich. For the record, Justin was always in favour of the resolution that a burrito is, in fact, a sandwich.
The procession of government vehicles continued down University Street past the McConnell Engineering Building. The sight of the McConnell basement helped Trudeau recall stories about Julie Payette (B.Eng. ’86). Many people believe that Payette was named Governor General because of her extensive service to Canada as an astronaut, engineer, and businesswoman. And she was, of course, but the Prime Minister had one additional reason for appointing her to be the Queen’s representative—the insane stuff she used to get up to at Blues Pub. We’re talking ‘drinking beers out of a hard hat’ crazy—along with some other lore that cannot be discussed on these pages.
The Prime Minister looked around on that beautiful late summer afternoon at all the young faces of McGill students in both the mob that has gathered around his car, as well as on the rest of campus. He knew that they would all go on to do great things with their lives, leading the next generation of innovators in many different disciplines. However, the Prime Minister also hoped from the bottom of his heart that the students remember that their time at McGill is fleeting, so that they make the most of every second, form relationships over a beer or a joint (after July 1, 2018), and who knows—they might even meet their own future senior advisor or Governor General.