Pierre-Elliott Trudeau (1919-2000)
Pierre Elliott Trudeau first became known journalist and founder of the magazine Cité Libre in 1950. In 1965, he entered politics and was elected as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada. He became Minister of Justice and participated in the reforms implemented by the federal government of the day. In 1968, he became leader of the Liberal Party and was elected Prime Minister of Canada. He is known as the father of the Omnibus Act (1969), which legalized divorce, abortion and homosexuality.
See French video at http://primaire.recitus.qc.ca/sujets/13/personnages-marquants/3967
Opposed to nationalism
Throughout his career as a journalist and politician, Pierre Elliott Trudeau was opposed to all forms of nationalism, especially Quebec nationalism in the 1950s. He believed that nationalism could only lead to abuse and could not provide a solid foundation or reason to build a country.
As prime minister, Trudeau adopted certain rules which significantly changed Canadian society. In 1969, he first passed the law on official languages which made both French and English the official languages of Canada and which required federal agencies to offer bilingual services throughout the country. In 1982, he led the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution which included the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This accomplishment was important to Canadians because it symbolized Canada’s independence from the United Kingdom.
See also – Traces of the past: