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Pierre Elliott Trudeau

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The Rgt. Hon. Pierre Elliott Trudeau
First Term:April 20, 1968 - June 4, 1979
Second Term:March 3, 1980 - June 30, 1984
Predecessor:Lester Pearson
Successors:Joe Clark, John Turner
Date of Birth:Monday, October 18, 1919
Place of Birth:Montreal, Quebec
Spouse:Margaret Trudeau[?]
Political Party:Liberal

Pierre Philippe Yves Elliott Trudeau (October 18, 1919 - September 28, 2000) was the fifteenth Prime Minister of Canada from April 20, 1968 to June 3, 1979 and from March 3, 1980 to June 30, 1984.

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Pierre Trudeau was flamboyant, charismatic, controversial, and an intellect. A political giant, he led Canada through some of its most tumultuous times. A sharp, energetic figure, he wore sandals to Parliament, dated celebrities like Barbra Streisand and Margot Kidder, flashed an obscene hand gesture to protesters, and once did a pirouette behind the back of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

As Minister of Justice under Lester B. Pearson, he was responsible for removing homosexuality from the Criminal Code of Canada, famously remarking, "The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation." As Prime Minister, he patriated the Canadian Constitution from the British Parliament to Canada and gave his country the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

As Prime Minister, he declared a brief period of national martial law, and proclaimed the War Measures Act in 1970 to deal with the October Crisis when terrorist cells in Quebec from the Front de liberation du Quebec (FLQ) kidnapped James Cross, the British High Commissioner, then kidnapped and murdered Quebec Cabinet Minister, Pierre Laporte.

Trudeau wanted to give Canada a greater role on the world's stage, and made many diplomatic visits to foreign nations. He became the first western leader to visit Communist China, where he was greated with much fanfare. Over the years Trudeau forges many close personal relationships with fellow world leaders, including Fidel Castro, Jimmy Carter, and Michael Manley.

His relationship with former President Richard Nixon was strained at best. Nixon detested what he percieved as Truedau's socialism, and once famously described the Prime Minister as "that asshole."

In the 1979 election Trudeau lost the Prime Ministership to Conservative Leader Joe Clark. A few months later Clark suffered a humiliating vote of no confidence[?] and Trudeau easily defeated him in the next election. In 1984 after taking a famous "long walk in the snow" Trudeau agreed to step down as Prime Minister, ending his almost unbroken 16 year rule of Canada.

He was a long-time member of the Club of Rome.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau died on September 28, 2000 and is buried in the Trudeau family crypt, St-Remi-de-Napierville Cemetery, Saint-Remi, Quebec.

A plan to rename Mount Logan, Canada's tallest mountain, for Mr. Trudeau was considered, but ultimately rejected.

Prime Minister of Canada
Preceded by:
Lester Pearson
First leadership (1968-1979) Followed by:
Joe Clark
Preceded by:
Joe Clark
Second leadership (1980-1984) Followed by:
John Turner

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