Deborah Coyne, mother of Pierre Trudeau’s only daughter, joins Liberal leadership race

·Politics Reporter

Could it be Trudeau-mania times two?

While Pierre Trudeau's eldest son, Justin, is contemplating his future with regards to entering the Liberal leadership race, the mother of his only daughter, Deborah Coyne, has joined the competition.

In a video statement posted on her website, Coyne says she is running to rebuild the Liberal party as "a party of principal."

"Too many Canadians, are sitting on the sidelines of national politics. Too many Canadians feel the national government means nothing in their daily lives. They don't like the polarization, the long and outdated ideological spectrum being told they have to support to big government high taxes or low government low taxes," she said.

"I believe the Liberal party can be the party that looks over the horizon and has a program that can really energize and engage Canadians."

Coyne, 57, vaulted into the public spotlight in 1991, when it was discovered that she had given birth to former prime minister Pierre Trudeau's only daughter, Sarah.

Her links to the Trudeau 'brand' notwithstanding, Coyne has an impressive resume.

According to the Canadian Press, she has been involved in public policy debates for decades, as a lawyer, university professor, constitutional activist and author of numerous books and articles on a variety of issues.

She is probably best known for her role in advising former Newfoundland premier Clyde Wells during his fight against the Meech Lake constitutional accord and for spearheading efforts to rally public opinion against the subsequent Charlottetown accord.

It was during those constitutional wars that Coyne's relationship with Pierre Trudeau, flourished.

Coyne's only run at public office came in 2006 when she ran as a federal Liberal candidate in the riding of Toronto-Danforth and finished a distant second to then NDP leader Jack Layton.

As for potentially running against her daughter's half-brother for the Liberal leadership, Coyne says it's not a problem.

"Our families have always been very separate so I have not been speaking to Justin Trudeau," Coyne told The Canadian Press, wishing him "all the best" in whatever he decides to do.

"If the two of us happen to end up in the leadership contest together, I don't see anything awkward about that. I think that's wonderful."

"The more people you have in, bringing different perspectives to bear, different suggestions about where the country should go, different ideas for rebuilding the party, the better."

The Liberal leadership contest formally begins in November.

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