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Trudeau's Just Society

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Erin Leahy

on 19 December 2017

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Transcript of Trudeau's Just Society

Trudeau's Just Society
Recall ...
What makes a "just" society?
What qualities made Trudeau such a popular politician?

What were his goals for Canada?

“By building a truly just society, this beautiful, rich and energetic country of ours can become a model in which every citizen will enjoy his fundamental rights, in which two great linguistic communities and people of many cultures will live in harmony, and in which every individual will find fulfillment.”
- Trudeau, after winning leadership of the Liberal Party in 1968

“And so I based my campaign on the central theme of the Just Society. Achieving such a society would require promoting equality of opportunity and giving the most help to those who were the most disadvantaged. Social security and equalization payments, as well as a ministry of regional economic expansion, would give practical effect to these abstract principles. As well, I announced what we would do to redress the federal Canadian state’s traditional injustice towards French, the mother tongue of 27% of the Canadian population.”
-Pierre Trudeau, Memoirs (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1993), pp. 87-88.

Throughout the 1970s, the federal government took many actions to implement and ensure a just society for Canada
Many Canadians began to speak out against traditional values, attitudes, and ways of doing things
These groups of Canadians were greatly impacted by the changes being made:
Women French-Canadians Immigrants
LGBTQ Economic groups Indigenous peoples

French-Canadians
-FLQ Crisis - "Just watch me..." 1970
-Official Languages Act, 1969
-Bill 101, 1974
James Bay
James Bay Project to use the hydro-electric power of these rivers resulting in greater success for increase Hydro-Quebec

-Cree and Inuit were never consulted and were concerned for the environmental welfare of their land
Hydro –
-Quebec expanded their business economy

The people formed the Quebec Association of Indians and took the case to court (1973) – project stopped until the government negotiated a treaty
In return for the land the Cree, Inuit and Naskapi First Nations recieived
Exclusive use of 14000 sq km of territory (hunting and fishing rights)
$225 million
Responsibilty for and control over education, health care and social services in their area
Roles on committees and boardds set up to protect the environment of the region

ECONOMIC GROUPS
Regional disparity in access to government resources
-1969 – Trudeau created the Department of Regional Economic Expansion -– focused on improving the economy of disadvantaged regions

Increased equalization between regions
Social safety net created

Healthcare
In 1962, Tommy Douglas pioneered universal health care
By 1972, it was reality for all Canadians – all provinces agreed to join

Stagflation
Consumer demand and job growth stagnate, while inflation pushes prices up

Wage & Price Controls
Rising oil prices contributed to stagflation
In 1973, price increased from $4 to $16 a barrel, resulting in prices of goods and services to go up, and some factories in Canada to close
Alberta and Saskatchewan experienced prosperity because of the increased prices
In 1975, Trudeau introduced wage and price controls – this meant that the government would control wages of workers as well as the prices companies could charge for certain goods

WOMEN
1966 – Committee for Equality of Women in Canada formed – the govt. created the Royal Commission on the Status of Women, which was designed to ensure equal opportunities for women
It found many examples of discrimination against women (ex. Airlines made stewardesses sign agreements that allowed the company to fire them at age 30)
$$$$
Although many women were working outside the home by the 1960s, they were paid less and seldom promoted
Many of the recommendations in the Report became law, such as equal pay for work of equal value
Trudeau appointed the first minister responsible for the status of women – creation of the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women to deal with these issues

Families
As more women joined the workforce, they wanted to control the size, and timing, of their families
Women also gained maternity leave in the 1970s along with the right to return to work after giving birth
Trudeau also changed the Criminal Code so that divorce was easier to obtain by women and abortion was no longer illegal

LGBTQ2 COMMUNITY
In the 1970s, homosexuality was greatly feared – some believed it was a choice, others believed it was a sin, and still others thought it to be a genetic disorder
Almost all lesbians and gay men suffered from some form of verbal abuse; 25% of gay men had been physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation
Timeline of LGBTQ Rights, 1970s
1972, First issue of The Other Woman, a lesbian feminist newspaper, published
1975, John Damien fired by Ontario Racing Commission because of his sexual orientation; launched a lengthy court case
1976, NDP became the first political party to support the gay movement
1977, Sexual orientation included in the Quebec Charter of Human Rights
1979, Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation included sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination policy

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF CANADA
Indian Act (1876) was a tool to force assimilation of Indigenous peoples. Controlled;
Indian Status
Land
Resources
Wills
Education
Band Administration
Life on reserves

White Paper
White Paper (1969)– the end of the Federal governments’ treaty obligations to First Nations
Move to Provincial responsibility
First Nations would lose their Indian Status and be treated the same as other minority groups in Canada
Government dropped the proposal

Red Paper
-Citizens Plus (aka Red Paper) 1970 - the Aboriginal response to the White Paper
-called for a review, not replacement, of Indian Act
-a call for Aboriginals only to determine their own priorities and future development lines
Marriage & Divorce
No Fault divorce -– Newfoundland & Quebec could divorce if Parliamentary passed a private bill because these provinces didn’t have divorce courts
In other places, spouses had to prove that their spouse was guilty of adultery, cruelty, or desertion. 1968 Divorce Act was part of the Omnibus Bill (where a couple could divorce without having to prove it)

Timeline of Aboriginal Rights
1960 - Aboriginals last group of CAD to get suffrage
1969 - Govt closes residential schools
1969 - White Paper
1970 - Red Paper
1970s - Aboriginal women who married non-Aboriginal partners were forced to give up Indian Status; Aboriginal men married to non-Aboriginal women could keep their Status
1971 - Calder Case - land claim treaty taken to Supreme Court
1972 - National Indian Brotherhood urges govt to allow Aboriginal people to control their children's education to learn about culture & values
1975 - James Bay project

Aboriginal Perspective
Walk in my moccasins
“Do you know what it is like to feel you are of no value to society and those around you? To know that people came to help you but not to work with you for your knew that they knew you had nothing to offer …? Do you know what it is like to have a race belittled and to come to learn that you are only a burden to the country? Maybe we did not have the skills to make a meaningful contributions, but no one would wait for us to catch up. We were shoved aside because we were dumb and could never learn. What is it like to be without pride in your race, pride in you family, pride and confidence in yourself? What is it like? You don’t know for you never tasted its bitterness.”
–Chief Dan George
MULTICULTURALISM
Immigration:

Many people were restricted from entering Canada
1960’s created a new openess to immigration
1967 – changes to the Immigration Act to eliminate most discrimination
A point system was created to see if immigrants met specific criteria

1960’s Federal government created a royal commission to look at bilingualism/biculturalism in Canada along with different ethnic groups in Canada

In response to the growing cultural diversity of Canada the commission recommended that Canada should be identified as a multicultural country (1971)


CONSTITUTION
Trudeau believed that many of these issues would be addressed with a change in the constitution - however, CAD does not have one of their own!


In 1982, Trudeau patriated the Constitution - with permission from govt and Queen, CAD had their own unique Constitution, which included a Charter of Rights and Freedoms
An amending clause - a process whereby two-thirds of the provinces have to agree to any changes; no longer need Britain's permission to make changes
Quebec never signed - felt it would erode their culture and language
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