Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the recently separated wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has returned to the speakers’ circuit, with the Canadian company Speakers Spotlight and the U.S. firm Keppler Speakers now representing what both groups are calling “the former ‘de facto’ first lady of Canada.”
The news was first reported this month by Parliamentary reporter Glen McGregor, who noted that Grégoire Trudeau was previously represented by Speakers Spotlight until 2015, when her husband became prime minister.
“I am very excited to begin this partnership with Keppler,” Grégoire Trudeau said recently in a press release by that company. “Their ethos of integrity, service and positive relationship-building aligns well with my goal of helping people reach their true potential and live fuller, happier lives. I believe that every human on the planet would benefit from forming healthier relationships with themselves, others, and the world around us. I hope to provide the tools to help audiences do just that.”
The bureaus each list the same three speech topics under her name. Leading with Courage: Women in Leadership “draws on her personal experience as a leader and mother in this empowering and inspirational keynote.” Mental Health: The Building Blocks for a Strong Foundation digs into “the science behind brain health” and draws on “her own mindfulness and yoga practices.” And Closer Together: Knowing Ourselves, Loving Each Other is billed as “a deeply personal journey toward self-knowledge, acceptance, and empowerment.”
Closer Together is also the title of Grégoire Trudeau’s soon-to-be-published self-help book, due out in April from Penguin Random House Canada.
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Speakers Spotlight also lists among its patrons Justin Trudeau’s brother Alexandre “Sacha” Trudeau, a filmmaker and journalist who can speak on China, Canadian history and international conflict zones; and Margaret Trudeau, the prime minister’s mother, whose speaking topics include “Choosing a Vibrant Future” and “Changing My Mind.”
Both firms play up Grégoire Trudeau’s previous work as a journalist and entertainment reporter, noting her interviews with Malala Yousafza, Gloria Steinem, Brad Pitt, Amal Clooney and others, and her encounters with such dignitaries as Queen Elizabeth II, Pope Francis, and Michelle and Barack Obama.
In the 2020 controversy around WE Charity, it was revealed that Alexandre, Margaret and Grégoire Trudeau had all spoken at the group’s events in the years before WE was chosen to run a student summer jobs program during the pandemic.
An investigation by the federal ethics commissioner found Grégoire Trudeau was not paid when she spoke at WE Day rallies for the youth charity’s volunteers, and was compensated only for related expenses. Her husband was cleared of any ethics breaches.
Grégoire Trudeau is now no longer subject to the scrutiny of the ethics commissioner or conflict-of-interest rules that previously required her husband to publicly report the sources of his spouse’s income, McGregor noted.
Justin Trudeau had his own lucrative career as public speaker before he became prime minister, earning six figures a year. He continued to take speaking jobs even after he was first elected to Parliament in 2008, earning $277,000 over four years, on top of his MP salary. He told the Ottawa Citizen in 2013 that he stopped taking paid speaking work when he decided to run for the Liberal leadership in the fall of 2012.
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