Pierre Trudeau
15th Prime Minister of Canada
Pierre Trudeau
Joseph Philippe Pierre Yves Elliott Trudeau, PC CH CC QC FSRC, usually known as Pierre Trudeau or Pierre Elliott Trudeau, was the 15th Prime Minister of Canada from April 20, 1968 to June 4, 1979, and again from March 3, 1980 to June 30, 1984. Trudeau began his political career as a lawyer, intellectual, and activist in Quebec politics. In the 1960s, he entered federal politics by joining the Liberal Party of Canada.
Biography
Pierre Trudeau's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Pierre Trudeau from around the web
Trudeau helps Manitoba Liberals launch - Toronto Sun
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Trudeau, the son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and MP for the Montreal riding of Papineau, took part in a pasta dinner hosted by Manitoba Liberal Leader Jon Gerrard at the Crescentwood Community Centre. At the rally, Gerrard also announced
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Former CB MP, senator Muir dies - TheChronicleHerald.ca
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In 1979, Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau appointed him to the Senate to break the Tory strangehold on the riding. He remained a senator until reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75 in 1994. John Buchanan, his former colleague in the Senate
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Justin Trudeau to Lend Support at Manitoba Liberal Rally - ChrisD.ca (blog)
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The Papineau MP, and son of the late former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, will attend the rally co-hosted by Manitoba Liberal leader Jon Gerrard at the Crescentwood Community Centre. “Manitoba Liberals are very excited about the upcoming election
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Where are the true leaders? - Cannabis Culture (blog)
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Since 1969, when hash-smoking Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau assured the nation that decriminalization was imminent, we've had a succession of promises without action from Canadian political leaders. ... - -
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"We Demand": sex and activist history in Canada gets spotlighted - Straight.com (Blogs) (blog)
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You probably recognize Pierre Trudeau's famous quote, "There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation." Trudeau said it prior to a historical act 42 years ago: a bill (introduced by then-Minister of Justice Pierre Trudeau) passed that
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What makes for a good prime minister? - CBC.ca
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By Community Team Pierre Trudeau is still the best Canadian prime minister of the last 40 years, according to an Angus Reid opinion poll. Pierre Trudeau has been at the top of the Angus Reid survey since they started asking the question in 2007. ... - -
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Documents reveal CIA kept watch on Canada during Cold War - Macleans.ca
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by macleans.ca on Monday, August 8, 2011 12:03pm - 4 Comments The CIA kept a close eye on the Canadian economy during the Cold War and conducted a secret analysis of then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, declassified records reveal
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Canada marks 35 years since abolition of the death penalty - This Magazine (blog)
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The vote over the hotly contested bill, which had prompted Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau himself to take the floor and make a plea for abolition, transcended partisan lines, and split Canada's MPs 131 to 124. Thirty-five years on from that landmark
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Professor Joins Pierre Trudeau - Canada Views
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Past inductees include former prime minister Pierre Trudeau and Olympian Mark Tewksbury. Busby is the director of the University of Manitoba's Centre for Human Rights Research initiative. She is being recognized for her advocacy over many years for the
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Brighton pilot recalls flying some high-profile passengers - Northumberland News
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Retired Brigadier General Jeffrey Brace has enjoyed a very interesting career in the air force, which has seen him fly several members of the royal family, Pope John Paul II and former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, to name a few
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What in tar-nation? - Toronto Star
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For 30 years, Pierre Trudeau's 1980 National Energy Program (NEP) had been recurrently trotted out by Alberta premiers and Calgary's oilpatch, strung up, and ritualistically pummelled. Don't you dare ever try a national energy plan on us again,
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Trudeau — again? - Hamilton Spectator
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Admirers of the late Pierre Trudeau can be excused if they are more than a little excited these days. Recent polls suggest both Liberal party members and people who voted Liberal in the last federal election would be happy to see Justin Trudeau
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There's a Trudeau waiting in the wings - Daily Gleaner
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Admirers of the late Pierre Trudeau can be excused if they are more than a little excited these days. Recent polls suggest both Liberal party members and people who voted Liberal in the last federal election would be happy to see Justin Trudeau
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Pierre Trudeau
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2000
    Age 80
    Pierre Elliott Trudeau died on September 28, 2000, and was buried in the Trudeau family crypt, St-Rémi-de-Napierville Cemetery, Saint-Rémi, Quebec.
    More Details Hide Details His body lay in state to allow Canadians to pay their last respects. Several world politicians, including Jimmy Carter and Fidel Castro, attended the funeral. His son Justin delivered the eulogy during the state funeral which led to widespread speculation in the media that a career in politics was in his future. Eventually, Justin did enter politics, was elected to the House of Commons in late 2008, became the leader of the federal Liberal Party in April 2013, and was elected Prime Minister of Canada on October 19, 2015—the first time a father and his son have become prime ministers in Canada. Trudeau was a Roman Catholic and attended church throughout his life. While mostly private about his beliefs, he made it clear that he was a believer, stating, in an interview with the United Church Observer in 1971: "I believe in life after death, I believe in God and I'm a Christian." Trudeau maintained, however, that he preferred to impose constraints on himself rather than have them imposed from the outside. In this sense, he believed he was more like a Protestant than a Catholic of the era in which he was schooled.
  • 1999
    Age 79
    The 1999 documentary film Just Watch Me: Trudeau and the '70s Generation explores the impact of Trudeau's vision of Canadian bilingualism through interviews with eight young Canadians.
    More Details Hide Details He was the co-subject along with René Lévesque in the Donald Brittain-directed documentary mini-series The Champions. Books News media Other online sources Editorial cartoons & humour Archival videos of Trudeau
  • 1998
    Age 78
    He was devastated by the death of his youngest son, Michel Trudeau, who was killed in an avalanche in November 1998.
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  • 1985
    Age 65
    Trudeau was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada on June 24, 1985.
    More Details Hide Details His citation reads: Lawyer, professor, author and defender of human rights this statesman served as Prime Minister of Canada for fifteen years. Lending substance to the phrase "the style is the man," he has imparted, both in his and on the world stage, his quintessentially personal philosophy of modern politics. Through hours of archival footage and interviews with Trudeau himself, the documentary Memoirs details the story of a man who used intelligence and charisma to bring together a country that was very nearly torn apart. Trudeau's life is depicted in two CBC Television mini-series. The first one, Trudeau (with Colm Feore in the title role), depicts his years as Prime Minister. Trudeau II: Maverick in the Making with Stéphane Demers as the young Pierre, and Tobie Pelletier as him in later years) portrays his earlier life.
    Trudeau also remained active in international affairs, visiting foreign leaders and participating in international associations such as the Club of Rome. He met with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and other leaders in 1985; shortly afterwards Gorbachev met President Ronald Reagan to discuss easing world tensions.
    More Details Hide Details He published his memoirs in 1993; the book sold hundreds of thousands of copies in several editions, and became one of the most successful Canadian books ever published. In the last years of his life, he was afflicted with Parkinson's disease and prostate cancer, and became less active, although he continued to work at his law practice until a few months before his death at the age of 80.
  • 1984
    Age 64
    Many politicians still use the term "taking a walk in the snow", the line Trudeau used to describe his decision to leave office in 1984.
    More Details Hide Details Other popular Trudeauisms frequently used are "just watch me", the "Trudeau Salute", and "Fuddle Duddle". Maclean's 1997 and 2011 scholarly surveys ranked him twice as the fifth best Canadian prime minister. One of Trudeau's most enduring legacies is the 1982 patriation of the Canadian constitution, including a domestic amending formula and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is seen as advancing civil rights and liberties and has become a cornerstone of Canadian values for most Canadians. It also represented the final step in Trudeau's liberal vision of a fully independent and nationalist Canada based on fundamental human rights and the protection of individual freedoms as well as those of linguistic and cultural minorities. Court challenges based on the Charter of Rights have been used to advance the cause of women's equality, re-establish French school boards in provinces such as Alberta and Saskatchewan, and to mandate the adoption of same-sex marriage all across Canada. Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, has clarified issues of aboriginal and equality rights, including establishing the previously denied aboriginal rights of Métis. Section 15, dealing with equality rights, has been used to remedy societal discrimination against minority groups. The coupling of the direct and indirect influences of the charter has meant that it has grown to influence every aspect of Canadian life and the override (notwithstanding clause) of the charter has been infrequently used.
    Though his popularity had fallen in English Canada at the time of his retirement in 1984, public opinion later became more sympathetic to him, particularly in comparison to Brian Mulroney.
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    Trudeau began the night of his famous "walk in the snow" before announcing his retirement in 1984 by going to judo with his sons.
    More Details Hide Details Trudeau remains well regarded by many Canadians. However, the passage of time has only slightly softened the strong antipathy he inspired among his opponents. Trudeau's charisma and confidence as Prime Minister, and his championing of the Canadian identity are often cited as reasons for his popularity. His strong personality, contempt for his opponents and distaste for compromise on many issues have made him, as historian Michael Bliss puts it, "one of the most admired and most disliked of all Canadian prime ministers". "He haunts us still", biographers Christina McCall and Stephen Clarkson wrote in 1990. Trudeau's electoral successes were matched in the 20th century only by those of Mackenzie King. In all, Trudeau is undoubtedly one of the most dominant and transformative figures in Canadian political history. Trudeau's most enduring legacy may lie in his contribution to Canadian nationalism, and of pride in Canada in and for itself rather than as a derivative of the British Commonwealth. His role in this effort, and his related battles with Quebec on behalf of Canadian unity, cemented his political position when in office despite the controversies he faced—and remain the most remembered aspect of his tenure afterwards.
    In 1984, Trudeau was romantically involved with Margot Kidder (a Canadian actress famous for her role as Lois Lane in Superman: The Movie and its sequels) in the last months of his prime-ministership and after leaving office.
    More Details Hide Details In 1991, Trudeau became a father again, with Deborah Coyne, to his first and only daughter, named Sarah. Deborah Coyne later stood for the leadership of the federal Liberal Party in 2013, the same election that Trudeau's son Justin won, at which she came in fifth. Trudeau began practising the Japanese martial art judo sometime in the mid-1950s when he was in his mid-thirties, and by the end of the decade he was ranked ik-kyū (brown belt). Later, when he travelled to Japan as Prime Minister, he was promoted to sho-dan (first-degree black belt) by the Kodokan, and then promoted to ni-dan (second-degree black belt) by Masao Takahashi in Ottawa before leaving office.
    When his divorce was finalized in 1984, Trudeau became the first Canadian Prime Minister to become a single parent as the result of divorce.
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  • 1982
    Age 62
    Trudeau's approval ratings slipped after the bounce from the 1982 patriation, and by the beginning of 1984, opinion polls showed the Liberals were headed for defeat if Trudeau remained in office.
    More Details Hide Details On February 29, after what he described as a "long walk in the snow", Trudeau announced he would not lead the Liberals into the next election. He formally retired on June 30, ending his 15-year tenure as Prime Minister. Trudeau was succeeded as Liberal leader and Prime Minister by John Turner. Trudeau joined the Montreal law firm Heenan Blaikie as counsel and settled in the historic Maison Cormier in Montreal following his retirement from politics. Though he rarely gave speeches or spoke to the press, his interventions into public debate had a significant impact when they occurred. Trudeau wrote and spoke out against both the Meech Lake Accord and Charlottetown Accord proposals to amend the Canadian constitution, arguing that they would weaken federalism and the Charter of Rights if implemented. His opposition to both Accords were considered one of the major factors leading to the defeat of the two proposals.
    However, after tough bargaining on both sides, Trudeau did reach a revenue-sharing agreement on energy with Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed in 1982.
    More Details Hide Details Amongst the policies introduced by Trudeau's last term in office were an expansion in government support for Canada’s poorest citizens and the introduction of the National Energy Program (NEP), which created a firestorm of protest in the Western provinces and increased what many termed "Western alienation".
  • 1980
    Age 60
    Trudeau and the Liberals engaged in a new strategy for the February 1980 election: facetiously called the "low bridge", it involved dramatically underplaying Trudeau's role and avoiding media appearances, to the point of refusing a televised debate.
    More Details Hide Details On election day Ontario returned to the Liberal fold, and Trudeau and the Liberals defeated Clark and won a majority government. The Liberal victory in 1980 highlighted a sharp geographical divide in the country: the party had won no seats west of Manitoba. Trudeau, in an attempt to represent Western interests, offered to form a coalition government with Ed Broadbent's NDP, which had won 22 seats in the west, but was rebuffed by Broadbent out of fear the party would have no influence in a majority government. Trudeau then took the unusual step of appointing Liberal Senators from Western provinces to Cabinet, in the 22nd Canadian Ministry. The first challenge Trudeau faced upon re-election was the referendum on Quebec sovereignty, called by the Parti Québécois government of René Lévesque, the date of which (May 20, 1980) was announced when Parliament re-opened after the election. Trudeau immediately initiated federal involvement in the referendum, reversing the Clark government's policy of leaving the issue to the Quebec Liberals and Claude Ryan. He appointed Jean Chrétien as the nominal spokesman for the federal government, helping to push the "Non" cause to working-class voters who tuned out the intellectual Ryan and Trudeau. Unlike Ryan and the Liberals, he refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the referendum question, and noted that the "association" required consent from the other provinces.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1979
    Age 59
    In the election of 1979, Trudeau and the Liberals faced declining poll numbers and the Joe Clark–led Progressive Conservatives focusing on "pocketbook" issues.
    More Details Hide Details Trudeau and his advisors, to contrast with the mild-mannered Clark, based their campaign on Trudeau's decisive personality and his grasp of the Constitution file, despite the general public's apparent wariness of both. The traditional Liberal rally at Maple Leaf Gardens saw Trudeau stressing the importance of major constitutional reform to general ennui, and his campaign "photo-ops" were typically surrounded by picket lines and protesters. Though polls portended disaster, Clark's struggles justifying his party's populist platform and a strong Trudeau performance in the election debate helped bring the Liberals to the point of contention. Though winning the popular vote by four points, the Liberal vote was concentrated in Quebec and faltered in industrial Ontario, allowing the PCs to win the seat-count handily and form a minority government. Trudeau soon announced his intention to resign as Liberal Party leader and favoured Donald Macdonald to be his successor.
  • 1978
    Age 58
    After a series of defeats in by-elections in 1978, Trudeau avoided calling the 31st Canadian general election until the spring of 1979, only two months from the five-year limit provided under the British North America Act.
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  • 1976
    Age 56
    Partially in an attempt to shore up his support, Bourassa called a surprise election in 1976 that resulted in René Lévesque and the Parti Québécois (PQ) winning a majority government.
    More Details Hide Details The PQ had chiefly campaigned on a "good government" platform, but promised a referendum on independence to be held within their first mandate. Trudeau and Lévesque had been personal rivals, with Trudeau's intellectualism contrasting with Lévesque's more working-class image. While Trudeau claimed to welcome the "clarity" provided by the PQ victory, the unexpected rise of the sovereignist movement became, in his view, his biggest challenge. As the PQ began to take power, Trudeau faced the prolonged failure of his marriage, which was covered in lurid detail on a day-by-day basis by the English language press. Trudeau's reserve was seen as dignified by contemporaries and his poll numbers actually rose during the height of coverage, but aides felt the personal tensions left him uncharacteristically emotional and prone to outbursts. As the 1970s wore on, growing public exhaustion towards Trudeau's personality and the country's constitutional debates caused his poll numbers to fall rapidly in the late 1970s.
    Trudeau continued his attempts at increasing Canada's international profile, including joining the G7 group of major economic powers in 1976 at the behest of U.S. President Gerald Ford.
    More Details Hide Details On July 14, 1976, after long and emotional debate, Bill C-84 was passed by the House of Commons by a vote of 130 to 124, abolishing the death penalty completely and instituting a life sentence without parole for 25 years for first-degree murder. Trudeau faced increasing challenges in Quebec, starting with bitter relations with Bourassa and his Liberal government in Quebec. After a rise in the polls after the rejection of the Victoria Charter, the Quebec Liberals had taken a more confrontational approach with the Federal government on the constitution, French language laws, and the language of air traffic control in Quebec. Trudeau responded with increasing anger at what he saw as nationalist provocations against the Federal government's bilingualism and constitutional initiatives, at times expressing his personal contempt for Bourassa.
  • 1975
    Age 55
    During the annual 1975 Christmas interview with CTV, Trudeau discussed the economy, citing market failures and stating that more state intervention would be necessary.
    More Details Hide Details However, the academic wording and hypothetical solutions posed during the complex discussion led much of the public to believe he had declared capitalism itself a failure, creating a lasting distrust among increasingly neoliberal business leaders.
    In October 1975, in an embarrassing about-face, Trudeau and new Finance Minister Donald Macdonald introduced wage and price controls by passing the Anti-Inflation Act.
    More Details Hide Details The breadth of the legislation, which touched on many powers traditionally considered the purview of the provinces, prompted a Supreme Court reference that only upheld the legislation as an emergency requiring Federal intervention under the British North America Act.
  • 1974
    Age 54
    The Liberals won no seats in Alberta, though, where Peter Lougheed was a vociferous opponent of Trudeau's 1974 budget. While popular with the electorate, Trudeau's promised minor reforms had little effect on the growing rate of inflation, and he struggled with conflicting advice on the crisis. In September 1975 the popular Finance Minister John Turner resigned over a perceived lack of support in countervailing measures.
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    In May 1974 the House of Commons passed a motion of no confidence in the Trudeau government, defeating its budget bill after Trudeau intentionally antagonized Stanfield and Lewis.
    More Details Hide Details The election of 1974 focused mainly on the current economic recession. Stanfield proposed the immediate introduction of wage and price controls to help end the increasing inflation Canada was currently facing. Trudeau mocked the proposal, saying to a newspaper reporter that it was the equivalent of a magician saying "Zap! You're frozen", and instead promoted a variety of small tax cuts to curb inflation. A campaign tour featuring Trudeau's wife and infant sons was popular, and NDP supporters scared of wage controls moved toward the Liberals. The Liberals were re-elected with a majority government with 141 of the 264 seats, prompting Stanfield's retirement.
  • 1971
    Age 51
    On March 4, 1971, while Prime Minister, he quietly married Margaret Sinclair at St. Stephen's Catholic church in North Vancouver.
    More Details Hide Details They were incompatible. Contrary to his publicized exploits, Trudeau was an intense intellectual with intense work habits and little time for family or fun, and she felt trapped and bored in the marriage, feelings that were exacerbated by her retroactively diagnosed bipolar depression. After three children, 23rd and current Prime Minister Justin (born 1971), Alexandre (Sacha, born 1973), and Michel (1975–1998), the couple separated in 1977 and were finally divorced in 1984.
  • 1970
    Age 50
    Five of the FLQ terrorists were flown to Cuba in 1970 as part of a deal in exchange for James Cross' life, although they eventually returned to Canada years later, where they served time in prison.
    More Details Hide Details Although this response is still controversial and was opposed at the time as excessive by parliamentarians like Tommy Douglas and David Lewis, it was met with only limited objections from the public. After consultations with the provincial premiers, Trudeau agreed to attend a conference called by British Columbia Premier W. A. C. Bennett to attempt to finally patriate the Canadian constitution. Negotiations with the provinces by Minister of Justice John Turner created a draft agreement, known as the Victoria Charter, that entrenched a charter of rights, bilingualism, and a guarantee of a veto of constitutional amendments for Ontario and Quebec, as well as regional vetoes for Western Canada and Atlantic Canada, within the new constitution. The agreement was acceptable to the nine predominantly-English speaking provinces, while Quebec's Premier Robert Bourassa requested two weeks to consult with his cabinet. After a strong backlash of popular opinion against the agreement in Quebec, Bourassa stated Quebec would not accept it.
    Trudeau's first serious test came during the October Crisis of 1970, when a Marxist group, the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) kidnapped British Trade Consul James Cross at his residence on October 6.
    More Details Hide Details Five days later Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte was also kidnapped. Trudeau, with the acquiescence of Premier of Quebec Robert Bourassa, responded by invoking the War Measures Act which gave the government sweeping powers of arrest and detention without trial. Trudeau presented a determined public stance during the crisis, answering the question of how far he would go to stop the violence by saying "Just watch me". Laporte was found dead on October 17 in the trunk of a car. The cause of his death is still debated.
  • FORTIES
  • 1969
    Age 49
    The first major policy failure of Trudeau's first term was the 1969 White Paper on Indians, which was promoted by new Department of Indian and Northern Affairs minister Jean Chrétien as part of Trudeau's push for classical liberal participatory democracy.
    More Details Hide Details The statement proposed the general assimilation of First Nations into the Canadian body politic through the elimination of the Indian Act and Indian status, the parcelling of reserve land to private owners, and the elimination of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs. The White Paper prompted the first major national mobilization of Indian and Aboriginal activists against the Federal government's proposal, leading to Trudeau setting aside the legislation.
  • 1968
    Age 48
    Some consider Trudeau's economic policies to have been a weak point. Inflation and unemployment marred much of his tenure as prime minister. When Trudeau took office in 1968 Canada had a debt of $18 billion (24% of GDP) which was largely left over from World War II, when he left office in 1984, that debt stood at $200 billion (46% of GDP), an increase of 83% in real terms.
    More Details Hide Details However, these trends were present in most western countries at the time, including the United States.
    Described as a "swinging young bachelor" when he became prime minister in 1968, Trudeau dated Hollywood star Barbra Streisand in 1969 and 1970.
    More Details Hide Details They had a serious romantic relationship, although (contrary to one published report) there was no express marriage proposal.
    Nevertheless, at the April 1968 Liberal leadership convention, Trudeau was elected as the leader on the fourth ballot, with the support of 51% of the delegates.
    More Details Hide Details He defeated several prominent and long-serving Liberals including Paul Martin Sr., Robert Winters and Paul Hellyer. As the new leader of the governing Liberals, Trudeau was sworn in as Prime Minister two weeks later on April 20. Trudeau soon called an election, for June 25. His election campaign benefited from an unprecedented wave of personal popularity called "Trudeaumania", which saw Trudeau mobbed by throngs of youths. Trudeau's main national opponents were PC leader Robert Stanfield and NDP leader Tommy Douglas, both popular figures who had been Premiers, respectively, of Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan. As a candidate Trudeau espoused participatory democracy as a means of making Canada a "Just Society". He defended vigorously the newly implemented universal health care and regional development programmes, as well as the recent reforms found in the Omnibus bill.
  • 1967
    Age 47
    At the end of Canada's centennial year in 1967, Prime Minister Pearson announced his intention to step down, and Trudeau entered the race for the Liberal leadership.
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    Trudeau paraphrased the term from Martin O'Malley's editorial piece in the The Globe and Mail on December 12, 1967.
    More Details Hide Details Trudeau also liberalized divorce laws, and clashed with Quebec Premier Daniel Johnson, Sr. during constitutional negotiations.
    In 1967 he was appointed to Pearson's cabinet as Minister of Justice.
    More Details Hide Details As Minister of Justice, Trudeau was responsible for introducing the landmark Criminal Law Amendment Act, an omnibus bill whose provisions included, among other things, the decriminalization of homosexual acts between consenting adults, the legalization of contraception, abortion and lotteries, new gun ownership restrictions as well as the authorization of breathalyzer tests on suspected drunk drivers. Trudeau famously defended the segment of the bill decriminalizing homosexual acts by telling reporters that "there's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation", adding that "what's done in private between adults doesn't concern the Criminal Code".
  • 1966
    Age 46
    More controversial than the declaration (which was backed by the NDP and, with some opposition in caucus, the PCs) was the implementation of the Act's principles: between 1966 and 1976, the francophone proportion of the civil service and military doubled, causing alarm in some sections of anglophone Canada that they were being disadvantaged.
    More Details Hide Details Trudeau's Cabinet fulfilled Part IV of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism's report by announcing a "Multiculturalism Policy" on October 8, 1971. This statement recognized that while Canada was a country of two official languages, it recognized a plurality of cultures – "a multicultural policy within a bilingual framework". This annoyed public opinion in Quebec, which believed that it challenged Quebec's claim of Canada as a country of two nations.
  • 1965
    Age 45
    However, many Liberals still had reservations given that he joined the Liberal Party in 1965 and that his views, particularly those on divorce, abortion, and homosexuality, were seen as radical and opposed by a substantial segment of the party.
    More Details Hide Details During the convention, prominent Cabinet Minister Judy LaMarsh was caught on television profanely stating that Trudeau wasn't a Liberal.
    Nevertheless, he was persuaded to join the party in 1965, together with his friends Gérard Pelletier and Jean Marchand.
    More Details Hide Details These "three wise men" ran successfully for the Liberals in the 1965 election. Trudeau himself was elected in the safe Liberal riding of Mount Royal, in western Montreal. He would hold this seat until his retirement from politics in 1984, winning each election with large majorities. Upon arrival in Ottawa, Trudeau was appointed as Prime Minister Lester Pearson's parliamentary secretary, and spent much of the next year travelling abroad, representing Canada at international meetings and events, including the UN.
  • 1961
    Age 41
    An associate professor of law at the Université de Montréal from 1961 to 1965, Trudeau's views evolved towards a liberal position in favour of individual rights counter to the state and made him an opponent of Quebec nationalism.
    More Details Hide Details He admired the labour unions, which were tied to the CCF party, and tried to infuse his Liberal party with some of their reforming zeal. By the late 1950s Trudeau began to reject social democratic and labour parties, arguing that they should put their narrow goals aside and join forces with Liberals to fight for democracy first. In economic theory he was influenced by professors Joseph Schumpeter and John Kenneth Galbraith while he was at Harvard. Trudeau criticized the Liberal Party of Lester Pearson when it supported arming Bomarc missiles in Canada with nuclear warheads.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1949
    Age 29
    From 1949 to 1951 Trudeau worked briefly in Ottawa, in the Privy Council Office of the Liberal Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent as an economic policy advisor.
    More Details Hide Details He wrote in his memoirs that he found this period very useful later on, when he entered politics, and that senior civil servant Norman Robertson tried unsuccessfully to persuade him to stay on. His progressive values and his close ties with Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) intellectuals (including F. R. Scott, Eugene Forsey, Michael Kelway Oliver and Charles Taylor) led to his support of and membership in that federal democratic socialist party throughout the 1950s. Despite these connections, when Trudeau entered federal politics in the 1960s he decided to join the Liberal Party of Canada rather than the CCF's successor, the New Democratic Party (NDP). Trudeau felt the federal NDP could not achieve power, expressed doubts about the feasibility of the centralizing policies of the party, and felt that the party leadership tended toward a "deux nations" approach he could not support.
    In 1949 he was an active supporter of workers in the Asbestos Strike.
    More Details Hide Details In 1956 he edited an important book on the subject, La grève de l'amiante, which argued that the strike was a seminal event in Quebec's history, marking the beginning of resistance to the conservative, Francophone clerical establishment and Anglophone business class that had long ruled the province. Throughout the 1950s, Trudeau, as the co-founder and editor of Cité Libre, a dissident journal that helped provide the intellectual basis for the Quiet Revolution, was a leading figure in the opposition to the repressive rule of Premier of Quebec Maurice Duplessis.
  • 1947
    Age 27
    In 1947 Trudeau travelled to Paris to continue his dissertation work.
    More Details Hide Details Over a five-week period he attended many lectures and became a follower of personalism after being influenced most notably by Emmanuel Mounier. He also was influenced by Nikolai Berdyaev, particularly his book Slavery and Freedom. Max and Monique Nemni argue that Berdyaev's book influenced Trudeau's rejection of nationalism and separatism. The Harvard dissertation remained unfinished when Trudeau entered a doctoral program to study under the socialist economist Harold Laski at the London School of Economics. This cemented Trudeau's belief that Keynesian economics and social science were essential to the creation of the "good life" in democratic society. From the late 1940s through the mid-1960s, Trudeau was primarily based in Montreal and was seen by many as an intellectual.
  • 1944
    Age 24
    When conscripted, he decided to join the Canadian Officers' Training Corps, and he then served with the other conscripts in Canada, since they were not assigned to overseas military service until after the Conscription Crisis of 1944 after the Invasion of Normandy that June.
    More Details Hide Details Before this, all Canadians serving overseas were volunteers, and not conscripts. Trudeau said he was willing to fight during World War II, but he believed that to do so would be to turn his back on the population of Quebec that he believed had been betrayed by the government of William Lyon Mackenzie King. Trudeau reflected on his opposition to conscription and his doubts about the war in his Memoirs (1993): "So there was a war? Tough... if you were a French Canadian in Montreal in the early 1940s, you did not automatically believe that this was a just war... we tended to think of this war as a settling of scores among the superpowers."
  • 1943
    Age 23
    Trudeau earned his law degree at the Université de Montréal in 1943.
    More Details Hide Details During his studies, he was conscripted into the Canadian Army as part of the National Resources Mobilization Act.
  • 1942
    Age 22
    In an Outremont by-election in 1942 he campaigned for the anticonscription candidate Jean Drapeau (later the Mayor of Montreal), and he was thenceforth expelled from the Officers' Training Corps for lack of discipline.
    More Details Hide Details After the war Trudeau continued his studies, first taking a master's degree in political economy at Harvard University's Graduate School of Public Administration. He then studied in Paris, France in 1947 at the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris. Finally, he enrolled for a doctorate at the London School of Economics, but did not finish his dissertation. Trudeau was interested in Marxist ideas in the 1940s and his Harvard dissertation was on the topic of Communism and Christianity. Thanks to the great intellectual migration away from Europe's fascism, Harvard had become a major intellectual centre in which he profoundly changed. Despite this, Trudeau found himself an outsider – a French Catholic living for the first time outside of Quebec in the predominantly Protestant American Harvard University. This isolation deepened finally into despair, and led to Trudeau's decision to continue his Harvard studies abroad.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1919
    Born
    Pierre Trudeau was born assisted by a midwife at home at 5779 Durocher Avenue, Outremont, Montreal, on October 18, 1919, to Charles-Émile "Charley" Trudeau, a French-Canadian businessman and lawyer, and Grace Elliott, who was of mixed Scottish and French-Canadian descent.
    More Details Hide Details He had an older sister named Suzette and a younger brother named Charles Jr.; he remained close to both siblings for his entire life. The family had become quite wealthy by the time Trudeau was in his teens, as his father sold his prosperous gas station business to Imperial Oil. Trudeau attended the prestigious Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf (a private French Jesuit school), where he supported Quebec nationalism. Trudeau's father died when Pierre was 15 years old. This death hit him and the family very hard emotionally. Pierre remained very close to his mother for the rest of her life. According to long-time friend and colleague Marc Lalonde, the clerically influenced dictatorships of António de Oliveira Salazar in Portugal (the Estado Novo), Francisco Franco in Spain (the Spanish State), and Marshal Philippe Pétain in Vichy France were seen as political role models by many youngsters educated at elite Jesuit schools in Quebec. Lalonde asserts that Trudeau's later intellectual development as an "intellectual rebel, anti-establishment fighter on behalf of unions and promoter of religious freedom" came from his experiences after leaving Quebec to study in the United States, France and England, and to travel to dozens of countries. His international experiences allowed him to break from Jesuit influence and study French progressive Catholic philosophers such as Jacques Maritain and Emmanuel Mounier as well as John Locke and David Hume.
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