From 1968 to 1979 and from 1980 to 1984, Joseph Philippe Pierre Yves Elliott Trudeau, a Canadian lawyer and politician, held the position of 15th Prime Minister of Canada. In the years 1979 to 1980, he also briefly held the position of opposition leader. From 1968 to 1984, he presided as the Liberal Party of Canada’s leader.

1982- Close-up of Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, seated at a desk with a glass of water. Photo filed 9/8/1982.

Along with his buddies Jean Marchand and Gérard Pelletier, Trudeau joined the Liberal party in 1965. They were successfully running for the Liberals in the 1965 election and were given the media moniker “three wise men.” In Montreal’s Mount Royal, a safe liberal district, Trudeau was elected. He would retain this seat through his 1984 political retirement, winning every election by substantial margins.

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He believed that the federal NDP could not win power, which contributed to his decision to join the Liberal Party of Canada rather than the CCF’s successor, the New Democratic Party (NDP). He also questioned the viability of the party’s centralizing policies. He believed that the party leadership was moving more and more in the direction of a “deux nations” strategy.

After arriving in Ottawa, Trudeau was chosen to serve as Prime Minister Lester Pearson’s parliamentary secretary. He then spent the majority of the following year traveling the world, speaking on behalf of Canada at conferences and organizations around the world, including the United Nations. He was named minister of justice and attorney general in Pearson’s cabinet in 1967.


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