#MomentsThatMatter – A Birthday Message from the Prime Minister

Dorothy has been a fan of politics her entire life. At an inspiring 106 years old, she remembers an era when there were only two political parties in Canada—the Liberals and the Conservatives—and how, back then, religion often prescribed which political party an individual supported. A staunch backer of the Liberal party, Dorothy was a huge fan of Pierre Elliot Trudeau in the 1980s, and is now equally struck by his son, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. As Anne, General Manager at Chartwell Centennial in Oshawa, explains, Dorothy was on pins and needles waiting to hear the outcome of the federal election in 2015. “On election night, Dorothy refused to sleep until the results came in. She was so sure Mr. Trudeau would win!”

With Dorothy’s passion for politics a well-known fact at her retirement residence, where she watches Question Period in the House of Commons from the comfort of her suite each day, staff decided to do something special for her 106th birthday on January 16th. They reached out to the Office of the Prime Minister with an extraordinary request—a meet-and-greet with Justin Trudeau. “We contacted the Prime Minister’s office a week before Dorothy’s birthday, hoping Mr. Trudeau might be able to visit her at our residence,” Anne says. “As he was just beginning his roadshow across Canada, he wasn’t able to stop by, but we were thrilled when his office suggested a conversation over Skype.”

Dorothy and Justin Trudeau 2Dorothy was excited to learn she would have the opportunity to talk with the Prime Minister and began counting down the days to her birthday. With her hair done and her daughter by her side, she sat down in front of one of Chartwell Centennial’s computers and was met by the smiling face of Prime Minister Trudeau. “As soon as she saw him, Dorothy turned into a teenage girl,” Anne teases. “She told Mr. Trudeau how big of a fan she was and how long she’d been a supporter of the party. At the end of the conversation, he promised he would drop by for a visit if he was ever in Oshawa—but said, ‘In the meantime, let’s do a Skype hug!’ and leaned into the computer with his arms open. Dorothy was absolutely thrilled.”

Through our Moments That Matter program, staff truly made Dorothy’s centenarian birthday one for the history books.