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Canadian Politics

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Mitchell B.
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  1. Introduction
  2. The political career of Pierre Trudeau
    1. His appointment to Lester B. Pearson's cabinet as Minister of Justice
    2. The Liberal leadership campaign in 1968
    3. His appointment as Prime Minister in 1968
  3. His work as Prime Minister
    1. Transforming Canada into the 'just society'
    2. The policy of official bilingualism
    3. The abduction of the British diplomat in Canada
    4. The War Measures Act
    5. Re-election as Prime Minister
    6. The implementation of the War Measures Act,
    7. The subjects of Quebec's future
    8. The sovereignty referendum
  4. Conclusion
  5. Endnotes

Canadian politics in the 20th century was full of prominent and colourful politicians, but none were as controversial as Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Pierre Trudeau was a French-Canadian born and raised in Montreal who grew up to become one of the most influential characters in Canadian history. He was loved by most but at the same time hated by many throughout his fifteen years in power. Whether one loved or hated him though, there is no denying that he was a remarkable Prime Minister who helped redefine Canada and its image. It is clear that his achievements as the Prime Minister of Canada outweigh his failures. Yes, there were failures, but not enough to overshadow all the good he did for Canadian society. Trudeau was an advocate for a just society. He provided safety to minority groups in Canada while at the same time doing everything he could to preserve national unity within Canada. Trudeau took a firm stance towards Quebec's demands for special status within Canada. Arguably his best achievement is his success in gaining Canadian control over its own constitution. Trudeau was one of the most significant figures in Canadian politics in the 20th century who created a legacy all on his own.

[...] in order to ensure that Canadian companies were given priority over American ones. Trudeau was able to achieve a major electoral success of surviving a two year minority period and then being re-elected with another large majority in 1974[xxviii]. He took advantage of this victory to lead the government to the abolishment of capital punishment, a bill which barely passed through the House of Commons. The abolishment of capital punishment was another example of Trudeau's attempts to create a more just society in Canada by modernizing laws that have existed for over a hundred years. [...]


[...] Trudeau. Toronto: Macmillan of Canada [xvi] Radwanski, George. Trudeau. Toronto: Macmillan of Canada [xvii] Radawanski, George, & Windeyer, Kendal (1971). No Mandate but Terror. Richmond Hill, Ontario: Simon and Schuster of Canada. [xviii] Morf, Gustave (1970). Terror In Quebec. Montreal: Les Clark, Irwin & Company. [xix] Zolf, Larry. Just Watch Me. Toronto: James Lorimer & Company, P Radawanski, George, & Windeyer, Kendal (1971). No Mandate but Terror. Richmond Hill, Ontario: Simon and Schuster of Canada. [xxi] Radawanski, George, & Windeyer, Kendal (1971). [...]


[...] Now that the War Measures Act was in place, the police officers in Montreal were free to conduct the largest manhunt that had ever taken place in Canadian history. The next day, following an anonymous phone call to the police, Pierre Laporte's dead body was found in the trunk of a car in a Montreal suburb. The death of the minister authenticated the threat to the Canadians state and suggested that because the terrorists had no limit to their cruelty, they had to be confronted with ruthlessness on behalf of the Canadian government[xxii]. [...]

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