Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Broadcast Date: Dec. 21, 1967
Clearly, a man before his time. His compelling leadership haunts Canadian politics. Since his departure as Prime Minister, we have yet to be lead with such charisma. I was all of 14 at the time of his retirement in 1984 and just starting to pay attention to politics. I knew that we had a love affair with Trudeau and that the nation was now going through some withdrawal of sorts.
At the time, I was attending a Catholic school, I had been brought up in a conservative town and I was not satisfied with the conservative stand on some major issues. I was eager to see positive movement with respect to the right of women to choose in abortions, an issue that politicians continue to fail to resolve, let alone take a stand on. Further, I was eager to see change in attitudes with the myriad of issues surrounding homosexuality. Again, we were and remain, disappointed.
Over the next few years, candidates came and went vying for the Chair. I clearly remember listening to Brian Mulroney belt out his platform at Century Place. The crowd was much more smitten - for lack of a better word - with the beautiful Mila that day and absorbed very little of Mulroney's so called promises. Later, I attended a rally at Centennial Secondary to hear John Turner defend his ‘Reign of Error’ (I actually owned a copy of this book, my father was not impressed). All the while, there was this sadness in the public; we wanted Pierre back!
Trudeau’s prolific reign as Prime Minister has left Canadians hungry for another passionate leader, one whom can really inspire, unite and motivate us. We are still waiting…
The following is an excerpt taken from the CBC Digital Archives
Trudeau's Omnibus Bill: Challenging Canadian Taboos
"There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation."
Those unforgettable words made famous by Pierre Trudeau in 1967 caused a tidal wave of controversy that rippled across the entire nation. Trudeau's Omnibus Bill brought issues like abortion, homosexuality and divorce law to the forefront for the first time, changing the political and social landscape in Canada forever.
A young, charismatic Pierre Trudeau, acting as Justice Minister, has introduced his controversial Omnibus bill in the House of Commons. The bill calls for massive changes to the Criminal Code of Canada. Trudeau makes an appeal for the decriminalization of 'homosexual acts' performed in private, telling reporters in this CBC Television clip "there's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation." Trudeau goes on to say "what's done in private between adults doesn't concern the Criminal Code." The other controversial parts of Trudeau's comprehensive Omnibus bill concern revisions to abortion laws, making it legal for women to get one if a committee of three doctors feels the pregnancy endangers the mental, emotional or physical well-being of the mother. The bill also calls for the legalization of lotteries, new gun ownership restrictions and would allow police to perform breathalyzer tests on suspected drunk drivers if they have reasonable and probable cause.