"I believe a constitution can permit the co-existence of several cultures and ethnic groups with a single state."
Trudeau, September 30, 1965
Pierre Trudeau held his philosophy of one Canada and a strong federal government before he became prime minister and he maintained it throughout his political career.
In April 1967, Trudeau became Minister of Justice and within the year, introduced Bill C-150 that led to the decriminalization of homosexuality in the landmark legislation dubbed '1969 Omnibus Bill'. In addition to decriminalizing Homosexuality, the bill also liberalized laws on abortion and reformed the nation's divorce laws.
Trudeau makes an appeal for the decriminalization of 'homosexual acts' performed in private, telling reporters in on a CBC Television clip "there's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation." Trudeau goes on to say "what's done in private between adults doesn't concern the Criminal Code."
When Lester Pearson resigned as prime minister in 1968, Trudeau became the next Liberal Party Leader and subsequently called and won the June 1968 election . In addition to the Omnibus Bill, one of the most important bills passed by Trudeau,s government was the Official Languages Act, guaranteeing bilingualism in the civil service.
Further, Trudeau dedicated himself to patriating the Constitution and drafted a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1980. After eighteen months of highly contentious federal-provincial negotiations, consent was finally achieved in 1982, but without the cooperation of Quebec Premier Rene Levesque. In a ceremony on Parliament Hill, the Queen signed Canada,s new Constitution Act on April 17, 1982.
Having accomplished his goal of strengthening Canadian federalism, Trudeau turned his attention to international affairs, campaigning for world peace and improving the relationship between the industrialized nations and Third World countries.
After a total of sixteen years as prime minister, he resigned from politics in 1984. He returned to practicing law, travelled extensively and published his memoirs. His death on September 28, 2000, just short of his eighty-first birthday, prompted an outpouring of grief and tributes from across the country.