Greatest Canadian: Pierre Trudeau

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Pierre Trudeau is the greatest Canadian of the twentieth century due to the fact that he declared Canada’s independence from Great Britain, he abolished the death penalty, and he created the Official Languages Act, making our nation entirely bilingual. His upbringing was a quiet one, “born into a family, a home and a neighbourhood of modest means” . Joseph Charles-Émile Trudeau, the family patriarch, was not a rich man because his parents were Quebec farmers. However, his maternal grandfather was a businessman. The young Pierre was born on October 18th, 1919 as Joseph Philippe Pierre Yves Elliott Trudeau. He was enrolled in a bilingual school on the outskirts of Montreal, yet was taught only English for his first three years. Early on is his first year at school, Pierre was separated from his friend Gerald O’Connor, who had moved to second grade. Taught by his father to be self-reliant, the young boy marched up to the principal’s office and asked to be moved to the same class. He was promptly promoted, and adult Pierre remembers this as the episode where he “overcame his shyness” . In his childhood, he acquired a reputation of a fighter, only to be further encouraged by his father, who bought him a pair of boxing gloves. Pierre, armed with his new boxing gloves, never afraid to confront a rascal who came from another suburb to challenge his friends. Charles-Émile Trudeau was a Conservative, and several of his friends belonged to the Liberal Party. When his father’s friends were visiting at their Lac Tremblant cottage, Pierre was exposed to political debates and rivalries at an early age. He found politics interesting, but could not understand much of it. His father invested in successful several companies at the beginning of the... ... middle of paper ... ...ive.org/web/20010504024758/cbc.ca/news/indepth/canadamourns>. "Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms." Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 2nd ed. 1982. N. pag. Print. English, John. Citizen of the World: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2007. Print. - - -. Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2006. Print. Gwyn, Richard J. Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Markham: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2006. Print. Heard, Andrew. "Canadian Independence." Simon Fraser University. N.p., 1990. Web. 22 Jan. 2014. . Meney, Florence. "La Peiné de Mort au Canada" ["Moving Towards Abolition"]. Radio Canada. N.p., 2007. Web. 23 Jan. 2014. . Trudeau, Pierre Elliot. Memoirs. Toronto: McClelland
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