Team Trudeau: the Toronto rainmakers orchestrating Justin’s rise
A guide to the Torontonians who have helped turn the younger Trudeau into a genuine prime ministerial contender
He and Trudeau met at McGill and have been pals for more than 20 years. In the last two, Butts turned the federal Liberal party’s fortunes around in his role as the leader’s main strategist and policy maker. Right now the Liberals are the team to beat in the polls; if they remain there it will be largely thanks to Butts.
When the ridings are redrawn for the 2015 election, Morneau will seek the Liberal nomination for Toronto Centre, shifting Chrystia Freeland to the newly established riding of University-Rosedale. He’s a successful businessman (his company, Morneau-Shepell, is the biggest human resources consulting firm in the country), he’s highly connected, he should be a shoo-in.
The former journalist and author was the Trudeau team’s first big get—a recruit with widespread name recognition and a CV perfectly suited to the party’s preoccupation with rebuilding the middle class. She will undoubtedly play a significant role in a Trudeau cabinet.
When Vaughan announced he was leaving city hall to run for the Liberal nomination in Trinity-Spadina, you could almost hear Team Trudeau salivating. The Libs were eager to re-establish themselves in downtown Toronto, and Vaughan won Olivia Chow’s old seat.
She’s the third point in the Liberal leadership triangle that includes Trudeau and Butts. Her job is to rebuild, revamp and modernize the Big Red Machine by implementing the kind of data-driven fundraising and vote-courting strategy that began with Obama in 2008 and is now the MO of campaign managers everywhere.
He was the mastermind behind Wynne’s decisive majority in June, and also won majority governments for Liberal premiers in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The strategist and pollster is sure to play a central role in Trudeau’s 2015 election campaign, for which he currently serves as an advisor.