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Lecture 18

HIST 203 Lecture 18: 4-11-2017 Trudeau Years

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McGill University
HIST 203
John Zucchi

Trudeau Years Background Personal -French Canadian -Had dabbled with right wing clericalism and socialism in the past -Educated at Harvard and London Program -Entered office in 1968 with first majority in a decade -Program of just society -Based on equality -Individual rights too -Known federalist, favoring a strong central government -Little time for collective rights, which hampered First Nations dealings Just Society More Details -Multiculturalism is one major aspect of just society -Other examples include -Omnibus Bill -National Energy -Inclusive and fair society, which helped him win as a relatively unknown quantity -Faced a YUGE amount of hypeoriginal Trudeaumania Criminal Code Revisions -Had begun in 1967, continuing through 1968 and 1969 -Two of the most significant were abortion and homosexuality -Liberals moved forward to declare these personal, private issues -Decriminalization of both separated morality from criminal law -Trudeau was personally against abortion -Society was strongly divided -1969 Omnibus Bill included all of these revisions and more Language -Introduced the Official Languages Act, October 17 1968 -English and French established as official languages in all branches of federal civil service, courts, and crown corporations -Also, in all bilingual areas where linguistic minority was over 10% of population, federal courts were bilingual -Extended civil service language training (began in 1964) aiming for bilingualism -Appointed a language commissioner Economic Inequality -Trudeau’s vision -Economic equality linked to national unity -Began with development in Eastern Quebec and the Maritimes -Maritimes had declined for years -Economic development had excluded them -Established a Department of Regional Economic Expansion (Dree) headed by Jean Marchand -Dree stimulated growth in other areas of slow growth too -Regional Development Incentive Act provided funds for firms in designated areas Difficulties With Regional Development -Not easy to measure the effects on national unity -Led to complaints from provinces -Felt that they were not properly consulted -Complained that funds weren’t being evenly distributed -Despite strong investments there weren’t many returns Post 1972 Elections -DREE funds became politicized -20% of budget to the West, 30% to Quebec by 1978 -Program spread thin -Disbanded in 1982 -Despite $7 billion from DREE, billions more in equalizationno real improvements to regional disparities Social Security -Unemployment insurance, which was hotly debated -Introduced initially in 1941 -In 1971, there was a massive expansion of the program -To cover maternity, sickness, and retirement benefits for workers -Increased benefits to all -In some cases for a longer time period Family Allowance and Universality -Trudeau introduced the idea of doing away with universality in the name of equity -Introduced the Family Income Support Program in the early 1970s -Meant to help poorer families, not everybody -Plan failed -1.2 million families would have lost benefits -Got them a minority government in 1972 -Constitutional battles regarding jurisdiction for family allowances especially with Quebec -Turns out universality was still popular Jurisdiction -Quebec demanded transfer of the family allowance control in 1967 -Because of economic nationalism -But mostly due to the fact that each month mothers got a check from the federal government -Made Canadians identify more with the federal government -Quebec and others believed that provincial control would connect them more to the provinces -Ottawa refused and Quebec refused to sign on constitutional accords that Trudeau had worked out with premiers in Victoria, 1971 -Agreement to raise the Family Allowance to $20/month and allow provinces to decide on allocation -Also used refundable child tax credits to allow for a universal social security program Native Canadians Natives and Just Society -Area of difficulty for the Trudeau administration -In the 1960s, a serious situation existed for Natives in Canada -Below average in: mortality rates, earnings, health, education -In 1966, Harry Hawthorne commissioned a report on Natives, which exposed their situation and recommended that assimilationist policies be abandoned -For all his focus on collective rights, he had to deal with special status, which clashed with broadly liberal values White Paper 1969 -Called for integration of minority and racial groups into mainstream society -Counteracted the
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