OTTAWA - Sometimes it pays to make a little noise.

Two-year-old Sophia Popalyar so badly wanted to meet Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan that she threw a tantrum on Canada Day when her parents told her the rain would keep them from Parliament Hill. Sitting in her car seat, with red maple leaf stickers on her face and flags attached to her head, she cried about missing the chance to see him.

But Sophia got her wish Thursday morning, when Sajjan took her on a tour of Centre Block.

The toddler, clutching a Canadian flag and sporting chic gladiator sandals, took Sajjan's hand as he led her down the marble hallway to the Senate, past grinning security guards and groups of tourists looking on curiously.

"Wouldn't it be the coolest place to play tag or hide and seek?" said the MP for Vancouver South. "Hide and seek!" she replied.

Accompanied by Sophia's parents and several public relations officials, including a videographer who captured every moment, Sajjan took the girl into the Senate, the Library of Parliament, and the House of Commons, where she sat in the Speaker's chair and he showed her the switch to raise and lower it.

Sajjan isn't the first cabinet minister Sophia has met. Earlier this year, she sang O Canada to Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef, who ranks as Sophia's favourite minister. She was also the subject of a viral video when her parents, who are civil servants, recorded her naming cabinet ministers and their portfolios.

Fawad Popalyar, Sophia's father, says he and his wife, Adina, have talked a lot about the diversity of the current cabinet, as well as how some come from places where there's less opportunity than in Canada. Like Monsef, Fawad and Adina were born in Afghanistan. They speak both English and Dari with Sophia.

"My hope is that, through this encouragement that she's received, that she will take an interest in serving her country in whatever capacity she's able to," Fawad Popalyar said.

Adina Popalyar says other parents have been inspired by Sophia to ask their kids whether they know who the prime minister is and what a government does.

"I thought that was the most rewarding part of it," she said.

Sajjan - who actually spent Canada Day in his riding - is in Ottawa ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland. The Canadian delegation, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, leaves Thursday afternoon. Sajjan and Trudeau are expected to announce Canada will send several hundred troops to Latvia to support NATO operations in eastern Europe.

Sajjan has recently been criticized following reports the government will sole-source a contract to buy Boeing's Super Hornet to replace Canada's aging CF-18 fighter jets, despite Liberal attacks on the last government over the Conservatives' determination to purchase Lockheed Martin's F-35 stealth fighter. The Liberals pledged during the election not to buy the F-35 and promised an open competition.

Sajjan said on Wednesday in Ottawa that no decision has been made on the jets and he will consult with industry players this summer.

The mood was lighter on Thursday as the defence minister spent about half an hour with the Popalyars. He helped Sophia, who turns three in August, open a gift including a book with a paper model of Parliament, a miniature hockey stick and a puck.

Prompted by her parents, Sophia said she'd like to be Justin Trudeau when she grows up. But Trudeau, Sajjan told her, wants her to be prime minister.

"Me too," she said.