A Son's Goodbye
September 14, 2004 3:34 PM   Subscribe

A Son's Goodbye
Pierre Elliott Trudeau was Canada's Prime Minister from 1968 - 1984. He was a flamboyant man who believed in one Canada and a strong federal government. His son Justin delivered this very touching eulogy at his funeral in 2000.
posted by Irontom (8 comments total)
I know this is old, but I thought that it was a powerful work. Thanks to philfromhavelock for pointing it out to me.
posted by Irontom at 3:37 PM on September 14, 2004

That's the kind of dad I hope to be some day.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:41 PM on September 14, 2004

I still get shivers from that eulogy. His delivery was a bit shakey but that made it more poignant. And that little glimpse into his childhood was fascinating.

P.E.T's children seem so well grounded, considering the environment they grew up in. I somehow ended up in Sasha's car one night and was struck by how friendly he was to me despite having only met me a few hours before. Also, the tape in his cassette player was so eclectic. It ranged from African music to something Oriental to everything in between. I remember thinking that his childhood must have been so interesting.
posted by smcniven at 7:31 PM on September 14, 2004

Thank you for sharing that.
posted by jasenlee at 8:24 PM on September 14, 2004

It's quite ironic that they recently renamed Montreal's airport into "Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport". My informants there tell me he was not exactly popular in Qu├ębec.
posted by lagado at 8:35 PM on September 14, 2004

As far as I know, lagado, Trudeau was very popular and also strongly disliked in Quebec. He and the Liberals carried a lot of Quebec seats in each election and a lot of the main ministers - Pelletier, Marchand, Lalonde, Chretien - were Quebecois. But he relentlessly attacked the Quebec nationalist/sovereigntist/separatist cause, its supporters, their intentions and they in turn relentlessly attacked him. That's simplifying the issues, of course. Joey Smallwood, late premier of Newfoundland, mentioned French Canadians should received all rights and privileges accorded to English Canadians but that Quebec should receive nothing more than any other province. But the nationalists believe Quebec should have powers equal to federal government, or at the least, be stronger than the other nine provinces. Trudeau was the favourite son and a traitor.

I'm glad you liked the piece, Irontom. If you haven't, I hope you can view the video/audio of the service: maybe you can find it on this page. (And thanks for the reference!)

As good an excuse as any to link to this photo of Pierre Trudeau (with, I think, John MacCallum in the background).
posted by philfromhavelock at 6:08 AM on September 15, 2004

Good post. Thanks.
posted by dazed_one at 7:30 PM on September 15, 2004

I suspect that the political adversary and his small blond daughter mentioned in the eulogy was Joe Clark and his daughter Catherine.
posted by orange swan at 6:19 AM on September 16, 2004

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