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). [...]
[...] Trudeau argued that a no vote in the referendum meant a yes vote towards patriating the constitution and he used this as justification to focus on bringing the Canadian constitution home from Britain. A week after the referendum Trudeau sent formal letters to the Premiers of every province urging them to quickly work towards agreeing on reforms to the constitution. After this Trudeau significantly increased efforts to negotiate a common agreement between the federal government and the provinces. By the end of 1980, Trudeau only had the Premiers of Ontario and New Brunswick on his side, with the remaining eight Premiers forming a sort of alliance against Trudeau's proposal. [...]
[...] It was a good thing they succeeded in convincing him, as this would 2 prove to be the origins of a very successful political career that would dominate Canadian politics for almost the next twenty years. Trudeau first made his mark on the Canadian political scene when he was appointed to Lester B. Pearson's cabinet as Minister of Justice. After a short stint as Pearson's parliamentary secretary, Trudeau was promoted and given a chance to show his real political skill. [...]
[...] While in office he tackled every major legislative issue including official languages, Quebec separatism and the constitution. Trudeau is the only Prime Minister who would be able to get away with virtually ignoring the economy throughout his entire political career. No other politician would be able to be re-elected with huge majorities while the unemployment rate was constantly on the rise or with inflation at the rate it was throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. Trudeau was a truly incredible politician who did so much for Canada. [...]
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