Justin Trudeau arrives at a gala during the Toronto International Film Festival, Sept. 9, 2012.
OTTAWA - Liberal sources have confirmed to QMI Agency that MP Justin Trudeau will officially toss his hat into the ring for the federal Liberal leadership at a press conference in Montreal next Tuesday.
Nevertheless, Trudeau was playing coy Wednesday about his plans.
"I have nothing to announce today. Glad to see everyone's in a good mood," he told reporters who swarmed him on the Hill in anticipation of his stepping into the race.
The son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau was widely believed to be preparing his bid all summer.
New Brunswick Liberal MP Dominic Leblanc is to announce his own decision on whether he'll join the leadership run in the next week or so, and said he'd welcome his longtime friend Trudeau into the campaign.
"He'll be a formidable candidate," he said Wednesday. "His participation in the race will be dramatic and important."
Asked what Trudeau might be like as an adversary, Leblance replied: "You'll have to ask Sen. (Patrick) Brazeau," the 37-year-old senator and aboriginal activist who lost a boxing match against Trudeau earlier this year.
Trudeau brings star power to the race and has pundits and media speculating it may be more of a coronation than a knock-down contest between candidates. A recent poll indicated 70% of Liberals would like to see the former teacher in the party's top job.
But Grits insist Canadians should expect a hard fought contest between well-matched leadership rivals.
Other potential candidates include Montreal MP Marc Garneau, Ottawa MP David McGuinty and former 2006 leadership candidate Martha Hall Findlay.
Despite his office denying he has political ambitions, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney's name is also on the lips of Liberals.
Lawyer Deborah Coyne, who had a child with Pierre Trudeau, is the only candidate with her name officially in the ring.
The new Liberal leader will be announced in Ottawa April 14.
-- With files from Jessica Murphy