As many as 1,000 people packed a Richmond hotel auditorium Wednesday night to find out whether the federal Liberal party's first declared leadership candidate has more to offer than a famous name.
Justin Trudeau was in town the day after kicking off his campaign in Montreal, portraying himself as a national unity candidate who wants to get Quebecers excited about Canada again.
He spoke about the need for Canada to embrace its immigrants, proclaiming "diversity is strength" to loud applause.
About 300 people of many ethnicities waved mini-Canadian flags from a makeshift grandstand behind Trudeau as he spoke about his great-grandfather George James Sinclair's journey from Scotland to B.C.
Earlier, as the crowd waited for Trudeau to appear, many said they were there to see more than charisma.
Paul Klein, a 44-year-old professor of economics at Simon Fraser University, said he was hoping to hear clear policy proposals. "I'm keen to see who he is and whether he has any prospects of being successful as the leader of the Liberal party.
"He has a lot of personality, but that's not really enough for me."
Hassan Merali, a 19-year-old arts student at Capilano University, came from North Vancouver after seeing Trudeau speak several weeks ago at SFU's downtown campus. He also said he wanted clear policy pronouncements.