STUDENTS at Sisler High School will be among the first Manitobans to hear directly from Justin Trudeau as the new leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.
Trudeau will visit students at the school at 10 a.m. today as part of a quick trip to Winnipeg, his first since taking the party's helm April 14.
He will meet members of the public at the TD Centre food court downtown at noon today for about 45 minutes.
Trudeau met privately Wednesday night with campaign workers and donors who helped on his leadership bid.
The 41-year-old from Montreal has shown strength in polls over the last few months, pushing his party into first place among the major parties by most counts. However, Canadians remain uncertain about his lack of experience, something the Conservatives are going after hard in a series of attack ads and taxpayer-funded flyers that could soon end up on doorsteps.
The Liberals are particularly weak in the Prairies, where the Conservatives generally lead by a significant margin. Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North) is the lone Liberal MP from Manitoba. He said the party has shown before that it can make a comeback. In 1984, it was reduced to one seat in Manitoba, but then won five in 1988 and 12 in 1993, the latter mainly due to the vote split between the Reform party and the Progressive Conservatives.
"The opportunity for growth is huge," Lamoureux said, adding Trudeau ignites a certain hope and optimism in people that is driving interest in the Liberals and will "bring forward strong candidates."
He said he's already heard from several people who want to run in the next election and expects several contested nominations.