It has been a week already since I was in Papineau, surrounded by family, friends and supporters, to announce my candidacy to become the next leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.
In the days that followed, I travelled to Calgary, then to Richmond, Mississauga, Dieppe and home to Sophie and the kids for Thanksgiving as a family.
I want to let you know what I saw over the course of this extraordinary week-- and why I'm in this race.
It is inspiring to look out across a crowd of Canadians who care deeply about our country.
You feel an incredible energy and optimism, a powerful mix of promise and possibility. You see it in Canadians from every walk of life, from every corner of our country and the world. You hear it from people who have been volunteering on election campaigns since their school days, and from those who have never set foot in a political meeting before in their lives.
Young and old, French and English, urban and rural, and from coast to coast to coast, we share the same, simple belief that built this magnificent country: that together we can create a better life for one another, and a better Canada for our kids.
I'm running because I hope to share that vision with a new generation of leaders. I want to lead the Liberal Party of Canada because I believe that citizenship demands service -- and there is no higher form than awakening in others a passion to serve.
And so if there is one thing that I hope to accomplish, between now and next April, it is this: to bring young Canadians back into our politics, so that we give the "leaders of tomorrow" the chance to be what they have always been -- the leaders of today.
That's how we'll ensure that the priorities of our government reflect the demands of our future. We can meet our greatest challenges -- creating jobs and prosperity, protecting our environment, making education accessible and opportunity equal -- but only if we harness the full potential of our people.
That's the Canada we can build together -- where no one's talents are left to languish, and no Canadian gets pushed to the margins or left out in the cold.
The positive message we're bringing, that middle class success means Canada's success, is being welcomed by Liberals across the country.
This campaign is not about passing the torch, but about kindling a new flame; not about renewing what was, but about building anew. It's about being part of the change.
We need the courage to discard old dogma and the pretensions of the past. It won't be easy. Real change never is. But with new energy, new ideas, and new boldness, we'll succeed -- and, above all, we'll succeed together.
I hope you'll encourage your friends and family to join the conversation about our country's future.
Visit Justin.ca for information on how to sign up to become a supporter, receive updates, donate and volunteer.
We have an incredible opportunity in the next six months to bring new ideas and new people into our party and our public life.
We are just getting started. Join us.