Justin Trudeau was born in Ottawa, Ontario, but the 45-year-old has always felt at home in British Columbia.
The UBC Vancouver grad didn't wait long to shout out his Okanagan alma mater on Wednesday night before launching into an hour long question period that felt equal parts conversation and political rally.
Hosted in UBCO's gymnasium, the event drew a massive crowd of university students eager to catch a glimpse of Canada's leader. The townhall event also attracted a large demographic of attendees that brought a variety of important topics to the discussion table.
Following an introduction from local Indigenous elders, Trudeau took the microphone to an excited roar before settling under warm theatrical lighting.
Taking over ten seemingly random questions, the PM held court with the massive audience, speaking on issues through a conversation that lasted over an hour.
The first question pounced on the elephant in the room regarding new tax reforms that have been criticized by small business owners. Trudeau's response blasted trickle down economics before highlighting the new tax reforms economic benefits for students, which was not surprisingly met with applause.
While Trudeau's responses remained close to party platforms, an authentic sense of passion could be felt for answers to certain issues.
Early on a front row grad student took the Liberal government to task over its election promise for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, which Trudeau called a “National tragedy". The PM reaffirmed the government's commitment to the issue, then dodged any explanation for the turmoil the inquiry has seen following multiple resignations from members.
Honouring Indigenous treaties, electoral reform and migrant workers rights were all covered by different questions around the room.
One of the most memorable moments of the townhall came from a young attendee who did not have a question but a thank you to Trudeau for his support of LBGTQ equality and rights.
Throughout the evening the Prime Minister showed solidarity with Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr and expressed a willingness to work with BC NDP leader John Horgan before being swept away by a security team.