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Pierre Trudeau

Pierre Trudeau was recognized as one of Canada’s greatest prime ministers is because of his charisma, intelligence, and wit captured that many Canadians. Trudeau had a vision of Canada in which is that all Canadians are equal, to achieve that goal, Trudeau has enforced bilingualism and multiculturalism as the official government policies. This opened the door to many immigrants from around the world. Trudeau gave Canadians that have been denied a voice. There are three main reasons why Trudeau was also recognized as one of the greatest prime minister in Canada.

Trudeau created the official languages act. The social justice for all, granting women rights, the Aboriginal Peoples and fighting against the discrimination of the Indian Act. And finally creating multiculturalism in Canada. Trudeau was a passionate federalist. One of the priorities was to forge a new relationship between French and English Canada. In 1963, Prime Minister Lester Pearson created the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. There was a report issued in 1969 and the Commission declared that there was a crisis in the French-English relations.

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The Commission made three major recommendations: make the services of the federal government more widely available in the French across the country; open federal civil service equally to French and English Canadians; improve and expand the teaching of French as a second language. Trudeau introduced the Official Languages Act in 1969. This gave equal status to the French and the English languages and made Canada an officially bilingual nation. The Official Languages Act angered some English speaking Canadians.

Some thought the Act gave French-speaking Canadians preferential treatment. Others complained about the cost of providing French services in parts of the country where a few people spoke French. Some English Canadians misunderstood that Act and thought that the official bilingualism meant that all Canadians had to be bilingual. In the just society, Trudeau envisioned all Canadians would have equal opportunities, such as having women as a speaker of the House of Commons, serving as Government Generals or appointing them as a chief justice.

An Inuit person serving the senate. An Aboriginal person being a cabinet minister or a lieutenant governor. Trudeau created a portfolio for the status of women in the Cabinet in 1971. In 1973, he established the Advisory Council on the Status of Women to monitor the progress in implementing the report’s recommendations such as; creating a federal Commission, providing daycare services for women who work outside the home , and prohibiting discrimination on the basis gender or the marital status. Trudeau created a White Paper to create equality in a just society.

Aboriginal peoples should be treated the same as all other Canadians. Special status was taken under the Indian Act was a form of legal discrimination. Aboriginal peoples received services such as health care and education through the federal government rather than the provinces. The White Paper recommended: abolishing the Indian Act, eliminating the Department of Indian Affairs, abolishing reserve lands and terminating treaties, and transferring responsibility for Aboriginal services to the provinces.

Trudeau envisioned a country which had many different cultures and backgrounds that would not only live together peacefully, but also maintain their cultural identities. In 1971, Trudeau adopted multiculturalism as an official government pledged to pursue four basic objectives: assist groups to carry on their own cultural practices and activities, assist cultural groups to overcome any barriers to their participation in any aspect of Canadian life, promote relations between all cultural groups, and help immigrants lean either French or English to become full participants in Canadian society.

Multiculturalism represented a new direction for Canada. It demonstrated that the government formally recognized the rights and distinct identities of the many different cultures that call Canada home. Multiculturalism reinforced the view that all Canadians had the right to fair and equal treatment. The policy of multiculturalism became the basis for new laws guaranteeing equal access to jobs, housing, and education. Trudeau introduced a widespread amount of changes to the immigration and citizenship policies.

He abolished earlier discrimination policies and established immigration guidelines based on three objectives: Humanitarian: unite families and provide a safe heaven for refugees facing persecution in their own countries, Economic: provide skilled labour for the Canadian workforce and to encourage economic growth and investment, Demographic: maintain steady population growth. June 30 Trudeau retired as the Prime Minister to practise law. Trudeau remained as a powerful force in Canadian politics.

When he spoke out, Canadians would listen. Trudeau died on September 2000 from Parkinson’s disease and prostate cancer. Canadians across the country stopped to pay their respects to the man who had captured the spirit and imagination of a nation. Therefore Trudeau was recognized as one of the greatest Canadian Prime Minister in Canada because he helped changed Canada by enforcing bilingualism and multiculturalism as the official government policies and by granting social justice for all, such a women, Aboriginals, Inuit peoples.


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