pierre-elliott-trudeau

On this day, in 1972, Pierre Trudeau was sworn-in as Prime Minister of Canada (the second of four terms) in Rideau Hall, Ottawa. A little less than 43 years, later, his first-born son, Justin Trudeau, was himself sworn-in as the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada in Rideau Hall.

In this picture, taken in 1973, Prime Minister Trudeau is carrying Justin to Rideau Hall. Little did he know then, that his son would walk, quite literally, in his footsteps.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau, whom my father once met in Montreal and said he was “as cool as you imagine”, was born on this day in the very Metropolis, 97 years ago.

Tomorrow, his son Justin will be celebrating the first anniversary of his election as Prime Minister of Canada. And again, in my dad’s words: “Papa Trudeau would have been so proud!”

Forget the Kennedys, we have the Trudeaus!!!  🇨🇦  🇨🇦  🇨🇦

Michael Kydd was on a Porter flight in March 2013 when he passed a note across few rows to Trudeau asking: “Justin, Can you really beat Harper?”

Trudeau responded: “Just watch me,” a reference to a famous quote from his father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau. 

And he did. 

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Margaret Trudeau [Margaret Joan Sinclair; 09.10.48] 

Margaret Trudeau is a Canadian author and former “First Lady”. When she was only 18 she met Pierre Elliott Trudeau, future Prime Minister of Canada, who caused the phenomenon Trudeaumania. Pierre was captivated by her flower child style and carefree personality. They married in 1971 and had three children; Justin (current Canadian Prime Minister/Liberal Party Leader), Alexandre “Sacha” and Michel. Trudeau was a frequent visitor of Studio 54 and was well acquainted with three of The Rolling Stones; Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. Shortly after spending a weekend with the Stones in 1977, Margaret divorced Pierre. This caused a lot of controversy and vicious rumours although Margaret denies having any romantic or sexual affair with any of the Stones. 

After the divorce Margaret struggled with stress, depression and bipolar disorder–especially since Pierre won custody of their children and did not pay spousal support. She has since became a spokesperson for mental illness awareness, even publishing a book Changing My Mind

“Margaret Trudeau was twenty-two and [Pierre] Trudeau was fifty-one when they got married. It was a bit like Sinatra and Mia Farrow–the power and the flower child. And now Trudeau’s bride–and this was exactly their sixth wedding anniversary–was seen walking in our corridors in a bathrobe. So the story was that she had left him. She had, in fact, moved into the room next to Ronnie, and they were hitting it off really well, or, as Ronnie put it so nicely in memoirs, ‘We shared something special for that short time.’ She flew to New York to escape the publicity, but Mick flew to New York as well, so it was assumed they too were an item. Worse and worse. She was a groupie, that’s all she was, pure and simple. Nothing wrong with that, but you shouldn’t be a Prime Minister’s wife if you want to be a groupie” - Keith Richards, Life.

“In the eyes of the world my weekend with the Rolling Stones was the freedom trip to end all freedom trips. […] To the journalists and newspapers of the world, my escapade was yet another example of what a wicked wife I had become; flaunting my infidelities in Pierre’s face.”

theguardian.com
Trudeau gives Canada first cabinet with equal number of men and women
Ethnically diverse ministers include 15 men and 15 women as new prime minister hails ‘a cabinet that looks like Canada’
By Jessica Murphy

Canada’s new prime minister Justin Trudeau has named a young and ethnically diverse cabinet, with a ministerial team that for the first time in the country’s history is equally balanced between men and women.

The ministers – 15 women and 15 men – are mostly aged under 50, in a team marking both a generational change and a commitment to reflecting Canada’s diversity.

“It’s important to be here before you today to present to Canada a cabinet that looks like Canada,” Trudeau, 43, told reporters on Wednesday soon after he was officially sworn-in as the country’s 23rd prime minister – the second-youngest in its history.

Asked to explain his gender parity promise, he answered: “Because it’s 2015.”

Many of the incoming female ministers have been given key roles, including former journalist Chrystia Freeland – now in charge of international trade – and Maryam Monsef, who fled Afghanistan as a refugee 20 years ago and will oversee the democratic reform portfolio.

Trudeau’s cabinet also includes two aboriginal members of parliament and three Sikh politicians.

But the prime minister also included some of the Liberal party’s old guard, putting former party leader Stéphane Dion in foreign affairs and giving one of his closest advisers, MP Dominic LeBlanc, the role of government leader in the House of Commons. 

Trudeau is the son of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, one of Canada’s most recognizable and longest serving prime ministers. But he said he wasn’t reflecting on his father’s legacy during Wednesday’s swearing-in.

“My thoughts today – sorry Dad – aren’t mostly on him, they’re very much on my own kids and the kids across this country that we are going to work very, very hard for to ensure they have a better future,” he said.

An MP since 2008, Trudeau led the centrist Liberals to a resounding victory in October’s federal election, replacing Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, who held power for nine years.

The mandate gives him the opportunity to undo some of the former prime minister’s record, including amending sections of controversial anti-terror legislation and pulling Canadian forces out of the US-led coalition against Islamic State.

In a dig at his predecessor, Trudeau promised cabinet members would have significant independence with their files.

“Government by cabinet is back,” he said.

Harper was known for centralizing power around the prime minister’s office during his tenure and dominating the policy decisions being implemented by his own ministers.

Trudeau had repeatedly promised his government would be more open and transparent than the previous one.

That promise extended to Wednesday’s swearing-in, as hundreds of people took up the Liberals’ open invitation to watch the ceremony on large screens set up on the grounds of Rideau Hall.

Eschewing the customary black cars that carry soon-to-be ministers to the doors of the official residence of Canada’s governor-general, Trudeau and his family and the new cabinet arrived on the grounds in a bus.

Trudeau later greeted the crowds and took selfies with fans lining the long driveway to the entrance of the governor general’s official residence.

During the ceremony, cheers from the crowd came in support of some of his cabinet picks, including for new justice minister Jody Wilson Raybould, a former Crown prosecutor and First Nations leader from British Columbia.

The portfolios of a number of newly appointed cabinet ministers will demand immediate attention as the Liberals push to quickly follow through on their campaign commitments.

Immigration minister John McCallum will oversee the Liberal campaign promise to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees into Canada by the end of this year.

Catherine McKenna, a lawyer by training, will join Trudeau in Paris at the end of the month for the COP 21 conference as the new minister of environment and climate change.

And indigenous affairs minister Carolyn Bennett, a longtime Liberal MP who has worked extensively on First Nations issues, will oversee the implementation of a national inquiry into the cases of hundreds of missing and murdered indigenous women.