Justin Trudeau took part in Aug. 8's Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Days parade.

Behest of the West: Trudeaumania stokes Tofinomania

Maybe when Justin Trudeau grows bored of politics, he’ll hold seminars to teach vacation-curmudgeons like me how to leisure.

I don’t vacation well.

According to science, we’re all supposed to take routine breaks from real life to unwind and regenerate or else we run the risk of burnout and expose ourselves to a buffet of stress related illnesses.

I took last week off and, despite living in the rest and relaxation capital of the world, I ventured to Victoria to allow various family members to squeeze my three adorable kids’ cheeks.

I wasn’t built for downtime and I struggle to switch off so I spent most of the week brooding over having no work to do. To me, a vacation is three undisturbed hours sitting in Officials yelling at the Blue Jays on TV. Spending an entire week off and out of town made me unproductively restless and grumpy.

Maybe when Justin Trudeau grows bored of politics he’ll hold seminars to teach vacation-curmudgeons like me how to leisure because, man, that guy is awesome at it. I don’t mean that as a knock; he gets enough criticisms from rock throwers who get offended when he dares to act like a real person with a real family he loves and wants to adventure with.

I’m not a fan of his, neither are you and we’ll get to that later, but the fact our nation’s leader puts such a monumental focus on crushing his role as a husband and father makes Trudeau not just likable but inspirational.

Trudeau nailed his West Coast vacation last week and the photos that spread throughout social and traditional media suggest he never stopped smiling.

The publicity we scored as the world watched him bask in our paradise is immeasurable and, while this Coast isn’t exactly hurting for visitors, images of him enjoying our shores strengthened our reputation as a place cool people enjoy.

We enjoyed his time here as much as he did. Tofino was awash in Trudeaumania and we swelled with pride that our beloved Prime Minister had chosen our backyard for his relaxing retreat from running the country. During his stay, we were his biggest fans and everybody forgot they didn’t vote for him.

There are caveats to the numbers I’m about to hit you with; the biggest being that the NDP ran an extremely strong candidate in our riding who also happened to be a Tofino local. Trudeau wields his charm like Luke Skywalker wields The Force but that contagious smile and devastating jawline were never going to stop us from voting for one of our own. Even considering now-MP Gord John’s local popularity though, it’s still tough to take the bottomless affection we showed Trudeau seriously after we showed no interest in his party at election time.

The NDP owned this Coast on 2015’s federal election day.

Tofino cast 996 votes for NDP Gord Johns, 198 for Liberal Carrie Powell-Davidson, 134 for Conservative John Duncan, 122 for Green Glen Sollitt and seven for Marxist-Leninist Barbara Biley. Ucluelet gave Johns 746 votes, Powell-Davidson 220, Duncan 202, Sollitt 120 and Biley three.

Ahousaht gave Johns 186 votes, Sollitt 11, Powell-Davidson 10, Duncan seven and Biley one.

Hot Springs Cove gave zero love to the Liberals as Powell-Davidson received no votes among the 26 cast—impressively, Hot Springs Cove’s 26 votes equaled the number of electors it has meaning it scored a perfect 100 per cent voter turnout. Johns received 18 votes besting Sollitt’s six and Duncan’s two.

I’ll do the math for you, the West Coast cast 1,770 votes for Tom Mulcair’s NDP and 429 votes for Trudeau’s Liberals. Of course, had we been voting for whom we’d rather see shirtless on our beaches, those results would likely have been drastically different.

Our sudden frenzied love for him aside, it’s no wonder Trudeau was stoked to spend time with us. We live in an amazing place and we’re surrounded by amazing people. This Coast is precisely where important vacationers should wind up when they need to take a break from their real lives to unwind and regenerate.

Trudeaumania swept through this Coast and puffed a typhoon of Tofinomania worldwide. Maybe the love we showed him will convince his government to aims its free spending ways in our direction. The selfies were cool, but infrastructure dollars to help our housing needs would be ice cold.

If my country is racking up a $30 billion spending deficit, my community shouldn’t be struggling to find shelter.


Andrew Bailey is the editor of the Westerly News. You can find his weekly column ‘Behest of the West’ on page 4 of our print edition every Wednesday.



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