Justin Trudeau has done something not a lot of politicians voluntarily do.
The front runner of the federal Liberal leadership race has disclosed personal details about his net worth and where it all came from.
According to the information published in the Ottawa Citizen, Trudeau is 'wealthy' but he's not as rich as you might suspect.
"At the request of the Citizen, Trudeau’s campaign staff produced a valuation of the company that manages the money he inherited from his father and gave a full list of his paid speaking events in the years before he announced his run for the leadership.
The documents show that while Trudeau’s inheritance is now worth about $1.2 million, he also built up a public-speaking business that earned him more than $450,000 in its best year.
...[In] 2012, he earned $72,000 for four speaking events.
The Citizen article also notes that Trudeau lives in "a semi-detached home" worth $777,000 with a mortgage of $622,000.
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Unlike members of the U.S. Senate or Congress, no Canadian member of parliament is required to publicly disclose their net worth or value of other income sources.
But this is is a smart move for Trudeau. While it looks like he has the Liberal leadership sewn-up, questions about his wealth and his ability to connect with the 'middle-class' are inevitably going to come up. Maybe even via a Conservative party attack ad.
By putting this information out there, he's taken control of the issue.
Already, Trudeau is getting praise from a lot veteran media types on Twitter for making this financial disclosure:
Huge credit to Justin Trudeau for this level of disclosure. (But those speaking fees?! What the hell did he say?!) ottawacitizen.com/touch/story.ht…
— Dan Gardner (@dgardner) February 13, 2013
— David Akin (@davidakin) February 14, 2013
If Trudeau is ever to become prime minister, he certainly won't be the wealthiest.
In 2004, Forbes Magazine pegged former prime minister Paul Martin's net worth at about $225 million.
The full Ottawa Citizen article — with a lot of great detail — is available here.
(Photo courtesy of Reuters)
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