Essay on Rights & Freedoms

699 Words Nov 11th, 2015 3 Pages
Pierre Trudeau was a lawyer, author, university professor and exceptional politician who changed the shape of Canadian politics, government and the justice system forever. He was born in Montreal on October 18, 1919 to a wealthy family and died of cancer on September 28, 2000. Trudeau’s early belief system was strongly influenced by his parents, especially his father. His views on business, love of country, support of the Catholic Church and French Canadian culture were passed onto him by his father. He was a bright student who excelled at the elite Jesuit preparatory school
Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf and in law school at the University of Montreal.

After graduating law school he practiced law and specialized in labor and civil
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In 1969 Trudeau spearheaded the Official Languages Act, which declared that
French and English are the official languages of Canada. The primary goal of the Act was to ensure that Canadian citizens had access to federal services in the official language of their choice. Although this was an important step in the protection of minority language rights in Canada Trudeau had to deal with a lot of backlash from many provinces as well as the public which viewed the Act as the "threat" of bilingualism in
English Canada. Trudeau felt that it was important to strengthen bilingualism in Canada especially with the threat of Quebec Separation. Although official bilingualism has not achieved consensus public and provincial support for bilingual services has dramatically increased across Canada.

Following the birth of Canada under the British North America Act of 1867 the country remained part of the British Empire and successive governments from the 1920s tried and failed to agree on a way to patriate and reform the country’s original constitution. In 1980 Trudeau embarked on the greatest journey of all; Canadian independence and the entrenchment of rights and freedoms for all Canadians. What followed was 18 months of political and legal struggles that almost tore the country apart.
The battle between the federal government and provinces captured the attention of the public and media in a way that had never been seen before.

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