UPDATE: Trudeau gathers 200-plus for leadership pitch

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It was standing-room only for fans of Liberal leadership hopeful Justin Trudeau in Cornwall Tuesday.

The charismatic son of popular Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau is on a whirlwind tour of Canadian cities trying to breath new life into the once-powerful Liberal party and drum up support for his leadership bid.

Trudeau spoke for nearly 30 minutes to more than 200 people, and talked briefly with the media before gladhanding with party faithful.

Trudeau took aim at the governing Conservatives during part of his address, and suggested "divisive" practices by the Tories need to be spotlighted by Canadians.

"We need to work hard, no Canadian has ever been afraid of hard work," he said. "Nobody can go it alone."

Trudeau also highlighted the Liberal's move to allow so-called "supporters" the ability to vote on who becomes the new party leader - so long as they are not members of an existing poltiical party.

“We need to be strong not in spite of our differences, but because of them,” Trudeau said.

In its heyday the Liberal party was a political powerhouse, running the table on legislation with a series of majority governments.

But support for the Liberals has dropped to the point where it lays claim to just 35 seats in the 308-seat House of Commons - well behind the governing Conservatives and New Democrats.

Nine individuals are battling to become the next Liberal party leader.

Liberal party deputy leader Ralph Goodale told Seaway News in the fall that the party was seeing tens of thousand new supporters via its "supporter" program.

The party intends to announce its new leader on April 14, in Ottawa.

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  • Cornelius Boldieu
    February 15, 2013 - 23:32

    Has anyone compared the achievements of candidates in three key areas, formal education, private experience and public experience, particularly cabinet experience, and what has been achieved so far in their career? What their plan is for the country and their ability to bring it out? Go Joyce Go! There's only one way to find out which candidates will go head-to-head: Join thousands of Liberals from across Canada online on Liberal.ca at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday, February 16 to watch the 3rd 2013 LPC Leadership debate live from Mississauga. Just click here before 1pm ET on Saturday or bookmark the page right now: http://www.liberal.ca/live/ You're not going to want to miss this one.