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Posts Tagged ‘Pierre Trudeau’

July11983: The first Canada Day is celebrated on Parliament Hill with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau there as an observer with his three sons including Justin Trudeau. The holiday was renamed Canada Day in legislation passed October 27, 1982.

Although Canada’s birthday was often observed municipally in the early years, it didn’t become a statutory holiday with the name Dominion Day until 1879. Even then, it didn’t get much official support except for major milestones like the 50th and 60th anniversaries. A private member’s bill in 1946 attempted to rename it to Canada Day, but died in the Senate. It wasn’t until 1958 that an official celebration — this one attended by John Diefenbaker — became an annual ritual.

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ChretienIt helps to have thick skin if you’re contemplating serving as Prime Minister of Canada. One only has to look at the many books about recent leaders that take a negative — even hostile — stance. In fact, in the past 50 years the number of diatribes about PMs has kept pace with the number of dispassionate biographies.

Here’s a sampling:

  • His Pride, Our Fall: Recovering from the Trudeau Revolution 
  • Breaking Faith: The Mulroney Legacy of Deceit, Destruction and Disunity
  • Jean Chretien: A Legacy of Scandal
  • Paul Martin: CEO for Canada?
  • Rogue in Power: Why Stephen Harper is Remaking Canada by Stealth

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CampbellSix Prime Ministers did not use their first given names. They were Henry (Wilfrid) Laurier, Joseph (Pierre) Trudeau, Charles (Joe) Clark, Martin (Brian) Mulroney, Avril (Kim) Clark and Joseph (Jean) Chrétien.

William King preferred his third name Mackenzie, while Lester Pearson was more comfortable with the nickname Mike.

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feb281984: Despite the typical winter blizzard in Ottawa, Pierre Trudeau takes a walk and makes a decision about stepping down as Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party. It is his second resignation, having reached a similar decision about four years earlier before reconsidering when Joe Clark’s government fell.

Exactly 30 years later, his grandson Hadrien is born to Justin Trudeau.

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feb091968: Justice minister Pierre Trudeau is mobbed by adoring fans at the Ontario Liberal Association convention in Toronto. His charisma is already making him the media’s pick to win the Liberal leadership — and he isn’t even a candidate (that will come seven days later).

It’s the media who have coined the term Trudeaumania to capture the rapture. They have freely adapted it from Beatlemania that gripped the country four years earlier.

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MackenzieNewspaper editors among past PMs were Alexander Mackenzie (Lambton Shield), Mackenzie Bowell (Belleville Intelligencer), Charles Tupper (British Colonist), and Wilfrid Laurier (Le Défricheur).

John A. Macdonald founded the Toronto Mail, William Lyon Mackenzie King edited the government’s Labour Gazette, Pierre Trudeau was heavily involved with Cité libre, Joe Clark wrote for the Albertan and various other publications, and John Turner edited his high school and university papers.

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There have been eight.

Since the creation of the Order of Canada on July 1, 1967, only two former Prime Ministers have not received it. John Diefenbaker was still an MP at the time of his death in 1979; sitting politicians are ineligible for the honour. Paul Martin stepped down as an MP in 2008; presumably he’ll receive the recognition in the next few years. His father was made a Companion of the Order in 1976.

For the record, PM Companions have been Louis St. Laurent, Lester Pearson, Pierre Trudeau, Joe Clark, John Turner, Brian Mulroney, Kim Campbell and Jean Chretien.

Interesting side note: Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party and a sitting politician, belongs to the Order. She received the honour before entering politics.

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