Pierre Trudeau And National Identity

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Pierre Trudeau 's attempts to create a sort of "National Identity" during his first term, from 1968 to 1972, has resulted in much debate and controversy. Each of these works looks at Pierre Trudeau from a different historiographical viewpoint. The reason for this is because Trudeau, and his "nationalist" policies, affected every aspect of Canadian citizens’ lives. This was due to the fact that Trudeau was essentially trying, in creating these policies, to answer the question that the Canadian intellectuals were struggling since World War II 's conclusion. This question was: "If [Canadians] are not British [due to the rapid decline of the British Empire] and not American [due to Canadians ' long held distrust of American power and influence] …show more content…
The first work is Bill Waiser 's Saskatchewan: A New History. As Waiser focuses on Saskatchewan provincial history, Trudeau 's first term, and his government 's policies, are looked at from a Saskatchewan viewpoint. In stark contrast to Pirouette, Waiser does not comment on Trudeau 's foreign policies at all and instead focuses on the relationship between the provincial governments and Trudeau 's government. From Waiser 's perspective, relations were strained not only due to the federal government 's priorities, due to the federal government relying heavily on densely-populated urban areas as its support base, but due to the fact that Ross Thatcher 's Liberal government in Saskatchewan was facing increasingly difficult economic challenges. At this time Saskatchewan 's economy was largely agricultural and rural, in contrast with Alberta 's economy which was already heavily centred on oil, and as such, Trudeau 's government was not interested helping out financially strapped farmers as their priorities lay elsewhere. As a result, Waiser laments the fact there was not a contemporary version of Jimmy Gardiner in Trudeau 's cabinet. This contributed to increasing the Thatcher government 's unpopularity as they were tied to the Liberal party by name, but because Saskatchewan 's population already compromised a smaller portion of Canada 's population and Trudeau felt, according Waiser 's interpretation, the federal had bigger provincial priorities to deal with in his first term in

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