Trudeau (2002)




Director:     Jerry Ciccoritti.

Starring:     Colm Feore (Pierre Elliott Trudeau),  Polly Shannon (Margaret Trudeau),  Patrick McKenna (Duncan),  Don McKellar (Greenbaum),  Peter Outerbridge (Jim Coutts),  Raymond Cloutier (Gérard Pelletier),  Raymond Bouchard (Jean Marchand),  Jean Marchand (Marc Lalonde),  R.H. Thomson (Mitchell Sharp),  Guy Richer (Jean Chretien),  Luc Proulx (Rene Levesque),  Geraint Wyn Davies (Premier William G. Davis),  Eric Peterson (Tommy Douglas),  John Neville (British High Commissioner). 

political biography of the Prime Minister of Canada



Spoiler Warning:  below is a summary of the entire film.




Historical Background:


1918  --  Pierre Trudeau  born in Montreal, Quebec.  His father was a French Canadian businessman/lawyer and his mother was French-Scottish.

He had an older sister, Suzette, and a younger brother, Charles Jr.

in his teens  --  his father had a prosperous gas station business and the family was quite wealthy. 

Pierre attended the prestigious Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf (a private French Jesuit school).  There he was a supporter of Quebec nationalism.

in his mid-teens  --  his father died.

As usual, he was conscripted into the Canadian army as part of the National Resources Mobilization Act.  Trudeau says he would have served in WWII, but he believed the Mackenzie King government (1935-1948) had betrayed the Quebec population.  He joined the Canadian Officers' Training Corps and served with other conscripts in Canada, as they were not liable for overseas military service until after the Conscription Crisis of 1944.

1942 --  in the Outremont by-election, he campaigns for the anti-conscription candidate Jean Drapeau (later mayor of Montreal).  Trudeau is expelled from the Officers' Training Corps for lack of discipline.

1943  --  Trudeau earned a law degree at the Université de Montréal.

After the end of WWII, Trudeau get a master's degree in political economy at Harvard University's Graduate School of Public Administration.

1947  --  he studies at the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris.

He enrolled in a doctorate program at the London School of Economics.  He did not finish his dissertation.

1949  --  he actively supports the workers in the Asbestos Strike in Canada.  This event is a turning point that helped lead to many liberal reforms starting in the 1960s that came to be known as the Quiet Revolution. 

1949-1951 --  Trudeau works briefly in Ottawa, in the Privy Council Office of the Liberal Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent, as an economic policy advisor.

1950s  --  Trudeau is a leading figure in the opposition to the repressive rule of Premier of Quebec Maurice Duplessis.  He helps found and is an editor of Cité Libre, a dissident journal that helps form the intellectual basis for the Quiet Revolution

1950s  -- through out this period, Trudeau is a member of the federal Democratic Socialist party.  He is blacklisted from the United States for awhile because of his leftist leanings. 

1961-1965  --  Trudeau was an associate professor of law at the Université de Montréal.

1965  --  he joins the Liberal Party of Canada.  Trudeau is elected to the safe Liberal riding of Mount Royal, in western Montreal. He holds onto this position until his retirement from politics in 1984.

1967  --   his is appointed to Lester Pearson's cabinet as Minister of Justice.  He introduces an omnibus bill that decriminalized homosexual acts between consenting adults, legalized contraception, abortion and lotteries,  and provided new gun ownership restrictions.

1968 (April)  --  Trudeau becomes the Liberal party leader.

1968 (April 20)   --  he is sworn in as the Prime Minister of Canada. 

1968 (June 25)  --  Trudeau wins the election.  He was seen by many of the 60's youth as their champion.  He called for a "Just Society".  The enthusiasm for the young leader led to what was called Trudeaumania.  Under Trudeau the government made French and English the co-equal official languages of the Federal government

1970  --   the October Crisis.  FLQ terrorists kidnapped British Trade Counsel James Cross and Quebec Labor Minister Pierre Laporte. Five of the FLQ terrorists were flown to Cuba as part of a deal in exchange for James Cross's life, but all members were eventually arrested. The five flown to Cuba were jailed after they returned to Canada years later. 

1971 (March 4)  --  Trudeau marries Margaret Sinclair.  They were incompatible and many said she was a hippie. 

1974  --  the Liberals are re-elected. 

1977  --  Trudeau and Margaret separate.  They had three sons. 

1979  --  in the election the Liberals lost, and Joe Clark and his Progressive Conservatives won. 

1980  --  Trudeau and the Liberals return to power.  The "No" stance on the independence of Quebec wins the referendum. 

1984 (February)  --  Trudeau says he will not lead the Liberals in the next election.

 1984 (June 30)  --  he retires from politics.  This ends his 15 year tenure as prime minister. He joined a Montreal law firm.

1984  --  Trudeau and Margaret divorce. 

1991  -- he has a baby girl with Deborah Coyne.  Her name was Sarah.

1993  --  he publishes his memoirs and the book sales were in the hundreds of thousands.

He has Parkinson's disease and prostrate cancer. 

1998 (November)  --  his youngest son, Michel Trudeau, is killed in an avalanche. 

2000 (September 28)  --  at the age of 80, Trudeau dies. 


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