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Civics Part 3: Active citizen Pierre Trudeau
Transcript of Civics Part 3: Active citizen Pierre Trudeau
November 8, 2012 Active Citizenship:
Pierre Trudeau Trudeau's Personal Life Born on October 18, 1919, in Montreal, Canada Died September 28, 2000 Canadian politician: 15th Prime Minister of Canada, representing the Liberal party Earned a law degree at Université de Montréal in 1943, and later a master's degree in political economy at Harvard University Married Margaret Sinclair with whom he had three children: Justin, Alexandre, and Michel Retired from politics on June 30, 1984 Was Prime Minister from April 20, 1968 to June 4, 1979, and again from March 3, 1980 to June 30, 1984 Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada from April 4, 1967 to July 5, 1968 Trudeau as PM How was Trudeau a global citizen? 1. He wanted a fair, just society. Trudeau, in his reign as Prime Minister of Canada, was a vigorous
believer in creating freedom, equality, and justice
for all citizens. From implementing official bilingualism in Canada to establishing the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Trudeau's great determination for social justice is truly evident of his global citizenship, and of course, a representation of civic responsibility. Morally, being a figure of such immense power, he had an obligation to deliver appropriate rights, freedoms, and securities to others, which he rightfully expected for himself as well. To add, as Prime Minister, he had a duty to create a peaceful environment for the people. Trudeau envisioned, desired, and enacted simply a multitude of circumstances that he foresaw as being beneficial, favourable, and overall equitable for the population as a whole. Above all, Trudeau acted for the total prosperity of humanity and for the common good of Canadian citizens, which is, truly, the connotation of a global citizen, and part of his civic obligation. 2. He heavily supported multiculturalism. Trudeau signing the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms with Queen Elizabeth II; part of his unparalleled global citizenship In claiming status as a global citizen, the most critical thing one must do overall is act for the benefit of humankind and the Earth as a whole. With that said, the acceptance and encouragement of social, ethnic, and cultural diversity is an important component of global citizenship due to the fact that it makes one aware of the world around them, above all, and opens the door for new ideas, thoughts, and actions. Pierre Trudeau, himself, had total belief in diversity, which indeed contributes to his global citizenship. On October 8, 1971, Trudeau was the one who introduced the Multiculturalism Policy in Canada, the first of its kind in the world, and as well, he largely protected multiculturalism in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. His respect and endorsement of human diversity was, additionally, an example of civic responsibility, because he, as Prime Minister, not only had an obligation to defend all individuals and their backgrounds, but also to respect the culture and identity of citizens, avoiding any discrimination, as they gave him the same respect. Conclusively, Trudeau's devotion toward multiculturalism is a true indicator of his global citizenship, and is a civic responsibility. The Multiculturalism Policy of Canada, signed by Trudeau Key Contributions First, possibly one of the largest and most important contributions in the history of Canada, Trudeau established the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which has deeply influenced the face of Canadian society through security, reassurance, fortitude, and unification of citizens. Secondly, Trudeau implemented official bilingualism in Canada, which is, undoubtedly, a very important part of Canada's population, overall equality, and identity. Bilingualism provides, above all, equal linguistic rights for citizens, and assures government and legal services in either English or French, which is crucial for Canadian equality of rights, freedoms, and privileges, justice, and unity. Lastly, yet another significant contribution to Canadian society, Trudeau was the one who adopted multiculturalism in Canada, creating the Multiculturalism Policy in 1971. Recognizing this plurality of cultures has left a legacy in Canada of acceptance, new ideas, equality, and national friendship. Thirdly, another very important contribution to Canada was from Trudeau as Minister of Justice; the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1968-69, among others, decriminalized homosexual acts between consenting adults, legalized contraception and abortion, and authorized breathalyzer tests on suspected drunk drivers. All of the previously mentioned, along with some additional features, made serious, extremely important changes to criminal law in Canada, and most importantly, benefited society, for the most part. People in a parade for multiculturalism; shows Trudeau's impact even years after he passed away Significant Quotations 1. Pierre Trudeau himself said and lived by the motto, “Le raison avant la passion - Reason over passion.” 2. Jean Chrétien, 20th Prime Minister of Canada, said about Trudeau, "A man of extraordinary courage, a complex man whose love for Canada was pure and simple. He set in motion forces of change that are still shaping the soul of a people and a nation. It was his passion for Canada that defined him. It was his dream of a just society that captured the imagination of a country." Not only does this expression demonstrate Trudeau's likely logical way of thinking, as he is putting logic and reason ahead of his emotions when it comes to the affairs of his life, but also reveals an important component of his decision-making style and personality. It means that, when faced with any set of circumstances, although Trudeau could have a strong passion or personal belief toward something, he would primarily consider and ultimately act upon the path that is most favourable for citizens as a whole. That being said, this quote is also evidence of his global citizenship, because he recognized that acting reasonably and responsibly, for the greater good of humanity, will reap higher benefits than only acting on behalf of oneself. Additionally, this quotation has a significant meaning for people in general because it is trying to convey that, although individual passion is important, acting and making decisions, such as voting, with the use of reason has a more positive effect for those around you, and often yourself as well. Before doing something out of emotion, one should truly think critically, research, and consider different possibilities. In the end, it is more important to make decisions for the greater good than simply for oneself. Literally, Chrétien was speaking about Trudeau as a courageous, complex, passionate, and influential man with a love for Canada. But more so, Chrétien revealed that Trudeau's undeniable affection for his country was so powerful that it was, in essence, his definition as a human being. This, in turn, means that Trudeau genuinely cared about Canada and its people, so much that he would do whatever it took to assure peace, prosperity, and amity among citizens. Trudeau's absolute fervour for his nation was seemingly his life's purpose. Secondly, this quotation is additionally significant to citizens, firstly, because it reflects upon Trudeau's enormous impact on our society, both then and now, and how his vision of change in Canada has shaped the way we live. To add, the quotation reminds us, as a society, of our immense gratitude towards social equality, justice, and freedom. We, since Trudeau first conceptualized the idea, have embraced and been captivated by the notion of a just society, and have highly valued it in our lives to this day. Citizens should never forget the significance and importance of the propitious society in which we live, exercising our rights and accepting our responsibilities each day. "It was his passion for Canada that defined him." THANKS FOR WATCHING!