TORONTO – A note that referenced the past while predicting the future has been sold for more than $12,000.
The document is a 2013 note in which then-Liberal leadership contender Justin Trudeau predicted he would succeed Stephen Harper as Canada’s prime minister.
Michael Kydd was on a Porter Airlines flight on March 20 that year and passed a note to Trudeau, whom he had never met, asking “Can you really beat Harper?”
Trudeau responded with a quote from his late father — former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau— “Just watch me.”
The younger Trudeau, who was running for the Liberal leadership at the time, is now the prime minister-designate after helping his party win a majority government in Monday’s election.
The note, which was posted on eBay, sold this afternoon for a total of $12,301.
Kydd, who formerly worked in communications for the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservatives, said the reference was instantly recognizable to him as someone with a “true love” of Canadian history.
“I immediately understood the significance,” said Kydd. “I actually laughed out loud when I read it because I thought it was the absolute perfect response.”
Kydd said he tweeted the message at the time and heard about it from Trudeau during a chance encounter near the Chateau Laurier Hotel two months later when he was on business in Ottawa.
Kydd said Trudeau seemed to recognize him and asked if he knew him from somewhere.
Kydd replied, “How does ‘Just watch me’ on an airplane sound?”
“He poked me in the chest and he was laughing and he said, you have no idea how much trouble you got me into with the Liberal Party of Canada over that.”
Kydd said he told Trudeau that he, too, had heard about it from Conservatives.
Trudeau’s father replied “Well, just watch me!” on Oct. 13, 1970, when asked by a reporter how far he would go in limiting civil liberties to combat separatist terrorists during the October Crisis.
Three days later, Pierre Elliott Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act, giving police more power in response to the kidnapping of British diplomat James Cross and Quebec provincial cabinet minister Pierre Laporte by the FLQ.
Kydd said he is considering what to do with the money from the eBay auction, including a potential charitable donation.