Pierre Elliot Trudeau: Great Canadian Prime Minister?

Essay by cutelilwierdoHigh School, 10th gradeB+, November 2005

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A great Canadian is one who takes pride in our nation, and represents the individuals of our society. Our government is made up of many political leaders, and great Canadian role models. A prime minister is one who fights for the people in society, and takes action to make a greater civilization. One of the greatest Canadian prime ministers ever elected was none other than Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau. With his clever ideas and passion, his vision for a 'Just Society' reshaped our Nation. Trudeau became a great Canadian Prime Minister through the ways he dealt with Canada's bilingualism, Quebec's thoughts of separatism, the renewal of Canada's sovereignty, the rights of individuals in our nation, and his never-ending love for Canada.

What language do we speak? What language would a person who was born in Quebec speak? Obviously we all know that Canada is a bilingual country. Yet, Canada, a multicultural nation, was not always bilingual.

In the 1960's, French-Canadians were afraid of the effect of the inflow of English-Canadian culture. Maurice Duplessis, premiere of Quebec (1959), believed that the province had to avoid English influences by refusing federal programs. After Duplessis' death, Jean Lesage was elected premiere (1960), and gave Quebeckers the idea of having a 'special status'. He wanted his government to get federal money so Quebec could have its own separate health, education, and social security programs. This started what was called the Quiet Revolution. At this time, troubled Quebeckers began to think about national separatism. Trudeau, on the other hand believed Canada's future as a unified nation depended on bilingualism and equal opportunities for Canadians who spoke either language. In result, Trudeau's government passed the Official Languages Act in 1969. This gave all Canadians the right to speak both French and English throughout Canada.