Pierre Trudeau appeared suddenly on the political horizon, blowing in with
the exuberant spirit of the 1960s. Not everyone liked this brilliant, enigmatic man,
but no one was indifferent. Winning his first election as Prime Minister in 1968,
he set out to remake Canada.
Though generally failing in the economic arena, he had a strong and coherent
social vision. He fought for a powerful, centralized state, equality of French and
English as official languages, multiculturalism and social tolerance. His legacy
is crowned by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, enacted in 1982:
the same year that Canada repatriated the Constitution under his leadership.
The past is to be respected and acknowledged, but not to be
worshipped. It is our future in which we will find our greatness.
Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 1970