After battle with cancer, teen made prime minister for week
When PJ (Prabjote) Lakhanpal learned he was being granted a wish from Make-A-Wish Canada, he came up with his request on the spot.
"I wanted to come up with a wish that money couldn't buy," the 19-year-old Brampton, Ont., resident told CTV Ottawa on Tuesday. "I wanted to come up with a wish that no one has ever done before."
On Wednesday Lakhanpal, is taking on the role of prime minister for a week, something he says combines his love for history, law and politics.
As part of his five-day visit to the nation’s capital, Lakhanpal is residing in the famed Chateau Laurier, which donated a week’s stay in the Prime Minister’s Suite. He also spent part of Wednesday afternoon with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“We didn’t get to the specifics of the current issues, but what we did talk about though was how politics is not an easy game,” Lakhanpal said. “If you want to pursue one policy, there’s multiple factors you’ve got to take in and may need to take a hit as a result.”
The teen was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma when he was 16. That’s when he made the unique request to be the prime minister of Canada.
After arriving in Ottawa with his family on Tuesday, Lakhanpal spent some time with Trudeau's security detail on Tuesday, where he learned about what it takes to keep the Prime Minister safe.
"From what I got, he has as pretty hectic lifestyle," he said. "He's always on the go."
He also met with Governor General David Johnston at Rideau Hall and took a tour of the VIP Challenger Jet that’s used to fly Canadian prime ministers
Asked about his main priority as prime minister, Lakhanpal said the economy is at the top of his agenda.
"The issue that reigns supreme for me is always the economy, and everything else comes second," he said.
After meeting with Trudeau, Lakhanpal said he was “living the dream.”
“Every moment of this trip has been a highlight,” he said.