Pierre Elliott Trudeau In Brief Essay

939 words - 4 pages

Joseph Philippe Pierre Yves Elliott Trudeau, one of the most prominent Liberals of all time, was born on October 18, 1919 in Montreal, Québec. Trudeau was the 15th Prime Minister of Canada and held office for a total of two terms. His first term was from April 20, 1968 to June 3, 1979, the second term lasted from March 3, 1980 to June 30, 1984.Trudeau, a graduate of the Université de Montreal and Harvard University, was a strong supporter of the Asbestos Strike of 1949, during which he held speeches, participated in demonstrations and most significantly, acted as a legal adviser for the unions of miners. Later, he edited a crucial book on the subject titled La Gréve de l'amiante.In the 1950s, Trudeau was a key factor in the resistance towards Maurice Duplesses, the dictatorial Premier of Québec. He was the initiator and editor of Citié Libre, a rebellious publication which helped to supply an academic basis for the Quiet Revolution. Trudeau was also banned from, and blacklisted by the United States because of a visit to a meeting in Moscow and also because he subscribed to many leftist publications. Trudeau, however, appealed the ban and it was repealed.Trudeau, who had been a follower of Marxist ideas and afterward a supporter Co-operative Commonwealth Federation party, gradually evolved towards Liberalism during the early 1960s. He joined the party in 1965 and was elected during the 1965 election. Two years later, Trudeau was appointed to Lester Pearson's cabinet as Minister of Justice.During his time as justice minister, Trudeau removed laws in opposition to homosexuality from the Criminal Code of Canada..In 1967, Prime Minister Pearson announced that he planned to step down. Trudeau decided to run for Liberal headship and in April 1968 at the Liberal leadership convention Trudeau was elected leader of the party. Many youths at this time saw the young Trudeau as a symbol of the generational revolution.During the 1968 federal election, rioting Québec separatists threw rocks and bottles at Trudeau. However, he heroically stayed in his seat, confronting the ferocious horde. This act of valor greatly impressed the public and swiftly won him the election.In his first term as Prime Minister, Trudeau focused on making Canada, what he called, a "Just Society". He advocated participatory democracy and enthusiastically defended universal health care and regional development programes.For the period of the October crisis, where the Front de Libération du Québec separatist terrorist group took Pierre Laporte, the Québec Labour Minister (murdered), and James Cross, a British Trade Consul, Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act which put Canada under temporary martial law. Though some individuals, such as Tommy Douglas, thought this move was avoidable, it encountered very little protest on part of the society. Trudeau was asked during the emergency how far he would go to stop the...

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