TORONTO, Ont. – Youth, politics and Canada hot topics at a Q&A with Liberal MP Justin Trudeau at the University of Toronto Tuesday.

The 40-year-old Montreal MP, considered a front-runner in the federal Liberal leadership race, spoke with students about the issues most pressing to them, including healthcare and education.

But with the official kickoff to the five-month long contest to choose the next Liberal leader Wednesday, it was not surprising that the MP’s leadership campaign crept into the conversation.

Trudeau said he is excited for the contest to officially begin. But did not speculate on who is main competitor will be.

“That’s what the leadership race is all about,” he said. “That’s what we’re going to see. That’s what Canadians will get to see for themselves in terms of who they want to represent them as head of the Liberal party.”

Trudeau said he is looking forward to the contest.

“Allow me to say ‘I told you so,’” he said. “I told you there would be a lot of very strong candidates getting into this race, who are going bring forward tremendous ideas.”

“We’re going to have a great debate about where the Liberal party needs to go.”

His star power was certainly noted by attendees at the Q&A.

“That man is a born speaker,” one woman said. “He knows what he’s doing and all of it was on display.”

“He presents well both professionally and personally,” she said. “People listen when he speaks.”

Another student said Trudeau presented well.

“I think more than a lot of other politicians he puts a fair bit of time also into the presentation of what he’s going to speak about,” he said.

“What you’re getting is not just ‘I stand for these particular ideals’ but it’s presented well.”

Aside from Trudeau, declared candidates includes Toronto lawyer Deborah Coyne; Ottawa lawyer David Bertschi; Vancouver Crown prosecutor Alex Burton; former president of the Liberals’ B.C. branch David Merner; and Ontario economist Jonathan Mousley.