Canadian History for Kids!
Sketches of Canada for June 25th!

Canadian History for Kids - Pierre Trudeau

June 25th, 1968, Pierre Trudeau wins majority in 28th federal general election. This Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of Canada, looks at the life of Canada’s 15th Prime Minister.

Pierre Trudeau believed strongly in ‘one Canada’. His response to the FLQ Crisis, his rejection of the Quebec separatist movement, as well as his patriation of the Constitution and promotion of official bilingualism are just some of his major accomplishments.

He was Prime Minister of Canada from 1968, to 1979, and again from March 3, 1980, to June 29, 1984.

Major events during his terms include the creation of the Official Languages Act in 1969, the enactment of the War Measures Act during the FLQ-October Crisis in 1970, the creation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 and legal independence from Britain with the signing of the Constitution Act, 1982. He was the first Prime Minister in Canadian history to appoint women to the positions of Speaker of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Commons and Governor General.

After a total of sixteen years as prime minister, he resigned from politics in 1984. He returned to practicing law, travelled extensively and published his memoirs. His death on September 28, 2000, just short of his eighty-first birthday, prompted an outpouring of grief and tributes from across the country. His body was laid in state to allow Canadians to pay their last respects. Several world politicians, including Fidel Castro, attended the funeral. His son Justin delivered the eulogy during the funeral which led to widespread rumour in the media that a career in politics was in his future. Eventually, Justin did enter politics, was elected to the House of Commons in late 2008 and in April 2013 he became the leader of the federal Liberal Party.

Highlights as Prime Minister

  • Repatriation of the Constitution
  • Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • Official Languages Act and bilingualism in Canada
  • Social welfare programs expanded
  • Introduction of multiculturalism policy
  • Canadian content programs
  • Appointed Jeanne Sauvé the first woman Speaker of the House of Commons in 1980, and then the first woman Governor General of Canada in 1984

And that’s this week Canadian History for Kids Sketches of Canada!

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