Canada History

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Prehistory | 2 Worlds Meet | New France | England Arrives | Clash of Empires | Revolution | British America | Reform/Revolt | Responsible Government | Confederation | Nation Building | Laurier | The Great War | Roaring 20's | Great Depression | WWII | The Peace | Cold War | Trudeau | PC's in Power | Modern Canada

3 Wisemen | Trudeaumania | October Crisis | Bilingualism | Petro Canada | 72 Super Series | Wage & Price Controls | 1976 Olympics | PQ Comes to Power | Interlude | Western Alienation | 1980 Referendum | The Constitution | Changing of the Guard

When Trudeau was elected in his Montreal riding in 1965, he came to Ottawa as a part of a new team from Quebec. He worked hard and was promoted quickly by Prime Minister Pearson and by 1967 was the Minister of Justice. Canada was in it's 3rd minority government in a row and did not seem enthusiastic about either Robert Stanfield, the new Conservative leader, or Prime Minister Pearson.

The sixties was about change and charisma, a new vision of Canada, a jubilant country that had just celebrated it's 100th birthday. It was about the quiet revolution and an uneasiness about Quebec's place in confederation. People were looking for something that they could get excited about, someone to support, someone who could change the country hold it together. Pearson recognized that he was that person and decided to step aside to give someone else in the Liberal Party and opportunity to lead.

After much thought and personal debate, Pierre
decided to run for the Liberal leadership and on the night before he gave his speech to the delegates at the leadership convention in 1968, Martin Luther King was  assassinated. His speech was an appeal for the Just Society and multiculturalism. He thrilled the crowd and the country with his Kennedy like style. He won the leadership and became Prime Minister and quickly decided to call an election.


As the campaign developed a celebrity like popularity enveloped his every action, speech and event and people picked up on the excitement. He had a vision, an idea and a plan for building his Just Society. On the night before the election he, and the other officials in the Grandstand at the St Jean Batiste day parade, were assailed by Quebec nationalist who throw rocks and bottles at them in an attempt to disrupt the event and intimidate the Prime Minister. Trudeau refused to run for cover and challenged the demonstrators directly. The nation watched this on television and were thrilled by an apparently fearless leader willing to stand-up to the fringe extremists.

Trudeau won a majority government the next day and so began his legacy.