Social Changes During the Trudeau Era

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In 1999, the top Canadian newsmaker of the century was voted out and the glory fell to the charismatic former Prime Minister, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who was elected into office after WWII. Throughout that time period, Trudeau worked towards promoting countless emerging social issues in Canada in various ways, and greatly influenced the transformations of the nation into the one that is known now. Among those social changes were the arising force of feminism, the altering relationship with Quebec, and the growing cultural diversity within Canada.

Soon after WWII, “The Second Wave” of feminism swept the decade and the rights of women were largely demanded by feminists. Pierre Trudeau realized that the unbalanced status between the sexes was in the need of change and encouraged feminism by supporting it with new laws and measures. In 1967, Pierre Trudeau gained himself much attention by introducing an omnibus bill as the Justice Minister. In the bill, he showed his views and suggestions to many concerned issues including abortion. The law stated that an abortion would be legal if approved by a committee of three doctors. However supported by feminists, the reform was doubted by the public. Trudeau stood firm and defended the bill with a famous saying, “there is no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation” (CBC 1967). The bill was later passed and it granted more rights to women who then became supporters of Trudeau, out of reason over passion. After their basic rights were guaranteed, Trudeau turned to focus on the lack of equality for female workers. In 1970, women were paid 59 cents to each dollar a man earned for doing the same amount of work. In order to alter this situation, the Canadian Human Rights Act was passed under the Trudeau government. The Act prohibited sex discrimination, guaranteed equal pay for work of equal value and improved the status of female workers. In result, 47 percent of the married women were under employment in 1979,...
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