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Thoughts on Trudeau’s Memoirs

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Thoughts on Trudeau's Memoirs Memoirs by Pierre Elliot Trudeau gave me a lot of insight to some of the things that the French had to go through. One of the things that they dealt with being a large minority was living in a unilingual country and government. The French people were trying to get some balance between them and the English, especially in the government, but it was moving along so slowly. Not being treated as "equally" as the French would like could be part of the reason why Quebec nationalism started becoming so popular in the 1960's. It could also be why the FLQ was formed, which escalated to them kidnapping James Cross and killing Pierre Laporte. If the FLQ did get what they were asking for from the government then something like this could happen again. It may not though since nothing has since Trudeau handled this situation in 1970 by enacting the War Measures Act. I don't know that it will or not, but if it does I know that I would not be extremely surprised. I was surprised however, to learn some of the things that I did reading Memoirs. One aspect that surprised me was that it wasn't until Louis St. Laurent was in the Prime Minister's office for several years did they put "Bureau du premier minister" on a plaque on his door (Trudeau, 119). ...read more.


People such as Rene Levesque did not think that Trudeau's handling of the October Crisis was appropriate. I do not agree with Levesque at all. I feel, from what I have read, that Trudeau handled the situation as he knew how to at the time. There hasn't been any more terrorism in Canada, so that should show that Trudeau did something right regardless of Levesque's opinion. "One day, the police and the army will be gone, Rene Levesque predicted in La Presse, and Trudeau's stupidity will not have prevented more kidnappings" (Trudeau, 149). Well, I can't say that Trudeau indefinitely prevented any more political kidnappings or terrorism, but it didn't provoke it either. This had not happened in the history of Canada, so Trudeau had no precedent to go from. There were no laws in the Criminal Code covering events like this in times of piece (Trudeau, 134), so what else could Trudeau fall upon? It is my opinion that whatever measures Trudeau could have taken, short of somehow capturing the men who were holding Cross and Laporte hostage, the FLQ would have still killed Laporte and maybe even Cross. It could be looked at from the view that Trudeau saved someone's life instead of losing a life. Quebec nationalism may have become so popular in the 1960's because people's views began to change and things that had been tolerated in the past were not being tolerated anymore. ...read more.


The French has gained a lot to become closer to being equal with the English, but they still had a long way to go in the 1970's. This is especially true in the government and the changes, however small, were made. In the 1950's and 1960's little things were changed in the government to show that they respected the French and it's large minority. A very big change took place with the Official Languages Act stating that the French and English languages were both the official languages of Canada. Some people, like those of the FLQ, went to the extreme to get what they wanted. But, the FLQ was stopped by Trudeau who enacted the War Measures Act. Although Trudeau had many critics who believed that he did not handle the situation right, I think that he did handle it right. I believe that he handled the situation as well as he could and knew how. The violence that happened during the 1960's is not likely to happen again. Political kidnappings and extreme violence very rarely occurs in Canada, so there is no reason to believe that it will happen in the future. Quebec seems to have come a long way from the 1940's and '50's. Quebec may not separate from Canada, but they will continue to get control of things that deal with Quebec in the government, and maybe the French will eventually feel that they are treated equally with the English. ...read more.

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