October Crisis, 1970 There's a lot of bleeding hearts around who just don't like to see people with helmets and guns. All I can say is go on and bleed." - Good article at CBC's wweb site on the FLQ, and the Quebec crisis in 1970.
Many Canadians, particularly in western Canada, disliked Trudeau and his policies. This is because Trudeau's policies were
thought by many westerners to favour Ontario and Quebec, at the expense of Alberta and British Columbia.
On a visit to Winnipeg, Manitoba he quipped: "Why should I sell the Canadian farmers' wheat?" One particularly
unpopular policy in the West was the National Energy
Program. His imposition of the War Measures Act, on the written request of the Premier of Quebec and the Mayor of Montreal,
is remembered by many, especially in Quebec, as an attack on democracy. Though his popularity had fallen in English Canada at the
time of his retirement in 1984, public opinion later became much more sympathetic to him, particularly when in comparison to his
successor, Brian Mulroney.
Some people consider Trudeau's economic policies to have been a disaster. Inflation and unemployment marred much of his term and,
when he left office, the national debt and deficit were at all time high levels. However, these trends were present in most western countries at the time,
they continued after he left office, and the role Prime Minister Trudeau played in them is debatable.
The value of the Charter of Rights and
Freedoms continues to be disputed. The Supreme
Court has ruled that the Charter does not apply to common law, and its
notwithstanding clause has occasionally been used
(particularly by Quebec and more recently Alberta) to circumvent its provisions. The Supreme Court has described situations in which charter rights can be superseded and withdrawn. However,
Canadians still remain subject to double jeopardy, in the sense that
the Crown retains the right to appeal acquittals (a right upheld by the Supreme Court in 1988 as consistent with the Charter),
and Canadian libel laws still do not incorporate a presumption of innocence. Mr. Trudeau's government did remove the right of
courts to substitute a conviction for an acquittal on appeal (the so-called Morgentaler amendment) in 1975, but when formulating the Charter Mr. Trudeau did not provide any further
protections against double jeopardy.
The charter does appear, however, to have clarified issues of aboriginal rights. It has, for example, been used to establish
the previously denied aboriginal rights of Métis. The charter has
also been used to extend the rights of women, gays and lesbians, and minorities. Hundreds of federal and provincial statutes were rewritten in
order to comply with the charter and many others have been struck down as unconstitutional. Most notably the law restricting
abortion was struck down in 1989 and in 2003 Canadian courts ruled that
restrictions against same-sex marriage were unconstitutional.
Just as much controversy exists around situations where the courts interpret charter rights broadly as it does when the courts
restrict or qualify them.
Pierre Elliot Trudeau recommended reading, books and resources, biography, pictures, and information about the former prime minister of Canada. This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from
this Wikipedia article.