'That's classified': Highlights of fist-raising PM PJ's week on Parliament Hill
Published Friday, February 19, 2016 2:35PM EST
PJ Lakhanpal may be young, but he already has big political aspirations.
The 19-year-old was granted his wish to be prime minister for a week following a battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Here are some highlights of his whirlwind Ottawa trip, made possible by the Make-A-Wish Foundation:
Meeting with Trudeau
If Canada’s prime minister is looking for a loyal confidante to keep state secrets, he may have found it in Lakhanpal.
Asked at a Friday news conference about what he discussed with current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a private meeting at the PMO, Lakhanpal was tight-lipped.
“We talked a little bit about politics and I’m not going to get into exactly what we talked about, but he also gave me some tips on debating.”
But Lakhanpal did provide some insights into what it was like meeting Trudeau.
“It didn’t feel like I was talking to a politician … it felt like I was talking to a friend,” he said. “He wasn’t intimidating, he was just really calm and really genuine.”
In media interviews, Lakhanpal made it no secret that he intends to hold top political office one day.
But when CTV Power Play host Don Martin asked the teen which political party he would run for, he replied: “That’s classified.”
Shadowing a Supreme Court judge
After Lakhanpal shadowed Supreme Court Justice Justice Russell Brown, he told reporters:
“What he told about his experience becoming a lawyer, I got the sense that when you work hard, at the end of the day, you’re going to look back on it and you’re going to be really proud of what you accomplished.
“That’s what I really got from Judge Brown.”
Lakhanpal stood and extended his fist in the air as he was applauded in the House of Commons, striking a pose that was widely shared online. The teen later said that his gesture symbolized strength and unity.
“Me basically extending my arm … is a representation of the aspirations of the Canadian people to reach for the stars, ”Lakhanpal said. “To make the greatest country on earth an even better country.”
At his final news conference, Lakhanpal said the trip exceeded his expectations – and it made him even more determined to reach his career goal:
“Hopefully the next time I’m up here, I will be elected as prime minister,” he said with a smile.