Pierre Elliot Trudeau:
A Successful Prime Minister
A great Prime Minister should always do what is right for Canada, no matter what obstacles he or she faces. Looking at the fifteen years he was in power, Pierre Elliot Trudeau did exactly that. For instance, he implemented the Official Languages Act and made bilingualism law. In another case, he put an end to the October Crisis by putting into effect the War Measures Act. Finally, Trudeau amended the Constitution which gave Canadians a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Pierre Elliot Trudeau was a successful Prime Minister who accomplished his goals despite facing enormous opposition.
While accomplishing his goal of a bilingual Canada, Pierre Elliot Trudeau encountered enormous opposition. In 1969, the Official Languages Act was passed by parliament and bilingualism became law. According to Sauerwein, “The Act asserted both French and English had to be spoken at federal institutions” (Sauerwein 71). Trudeau’s commitment to bilingualism was fueled by his desire to give French Canadians an equal place in Canadian society. One of his chief arguments was that there was prejudice towards francophones in the employment of civil service workers. As observed by Gwyn, “in the mid-1960’s, francophones were 27 percent of the national population, but held only 10 percent of all civil service posts” (Gwyn 35). As part of the new act, bilingualism became a requirement for all civil service workers. Trudeau’s ideology was that these new rules would ensure equal treatment, but unfortunately, not everyone felt this way. For nine days in June 1976, all Canadian airlines grounded their planes. Air traffic controllers had gone on strike, worried that their jobs were threatened by this new policy. Unbelievably, this problem was only minor compared to the prejudicial nightmare Canada was becoming. “On the streets, people were buying T-shirts that showed a beaver (representing Canada) strangling...
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