Geronimo Coffee House on Prescott Street was packed last Tuesday to welcome a very special visitor to town. On November 27, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made an appearance at Geronimo to support local Liberal candidate Mary Jean McFall in the Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes byelection.
Local Liberals waited in anticipation for several hours for the Prime Minister’s arrival at around 3:00 in the afternoon. The crowd came alive as Justin Trudeau stepped into the shop and made his way to a makeshift stage of chairs in the centre of the room, where he stood with the candidate.
“It’s nice to be in Kemptville this afternoon,” he said. “It’s a great time to come together and figure out how we are going to keep moving forward as a community and as a country.”
Trudeau mentioned how the focus in politics of late has been to point fingers and highlight differences. He believes politics should be about bringing people together, highlighting similarities, and building each other up to create better communities. “The only way to move forward is in a thoughtful and responsible way, and that’s what we’re going to do all together,” he said. “That’s why I so much need Mary Jean McFall with us in Ottawa.”
After his brief speech, Trudeau circulated through the crowd, shaking hands and taking selfies. He paid a special visit to owners of Geronimo, Terry and Lee McIlvenna, and their helper, Malina Dockendorff of Rideau Roastery, behind the counter. Malina had the opportunity to give Trudeau a pound of her coffee, which she hopes he will share with his wife at Rideau Hall.
Trudeau also took the time to sign the drawing of six-year-old Emma Button, whose dream is to become Prime Minister one day. Her mother, Melissa Button, was elated when Trudeau stopped to autograph the drawing and take a photo with her. “He said your picture was adorable,” Melissa told Emma. “He thought it was pretty awesome.”
Although Trudeau’s visit was less than ten minutes, he left the whole room giddy and buzzing with excitement. After leaving Geronimo, Mary Jean and Prime Minister Trudeau continued their tour of the riding with a visit to Richard’s Coffeehouse in Brockville.