Pierre Elliot Trudeau's influence on Canada, and how it affected our society to this day

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A Canadian Influence

Pierre Elliot Trudeau was a great influence on Canadian history, and helped maintain strong bonds with the French society in Canada creating a strong bond between the French and the English, while promoting Canadian unity and independence.

Pierre Trudeau was first elected Canada's Prime Minister in 1968. He remained in power over the following 16 years, except for a Leading Canada until 1979 and again from 1980 to 1984, the influence of Trudeau's policies and actions is still strong. From the Official Languages Act in 1969, to the October Crisis in 1970, the 1980 referendum and the patriation of the Constitution in 1982, Trudeau dominated Canada's political landscape like few others.

Trudeau was born Joseph Philippe Pierre Ives Elliott Trudeau in Montréal, Québec, in 1919, the youngest of three children. Growing up in a bilingual household Trudeau learned the advantages of being able to speak both languages fluently, and saw no problem with having both the French and English language as a primary language.

Trudeau was a founder of the review Cité Libre ("Free City"), which was established in 1950 and became the leading publication attacking Duplessis and his party, the Union Nationale. Trudeau was also a leader in the formation of the Rassemblement; a group devoted to fighting Duplessis by arousing public opinion against him. It provided much of the intellectual basis for the revived Québec Liberal Party, which defeated the Union Nationale in 1960. Cité Libre emphasized concern for the individual and held that economic opportunities should be equal for all, so that each person could develop freely. According to Trudeau, aspirations to make Québec a separate nation were wrong and the province should instead seek its fulfilment within the Canadian federal system. The ideal state for Cité Libre was democratic, socialist, federal, and pacifist.