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Challenging Canada's 'sacred cows'

"There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation." Those unforgettable words made famous by Pierre Trudeau in 1967 caused a tidal wave of controversy that rippled across the entire nation. Trudeau's Omnibus Bill brought issues like abortion, homosexuality and divorce law to the forefront for the first time, changing the political and social landscape in Canada forever.

It's a month after the Omnibus Bill is introduced and Trudeau is starting to feel the heat from members of the House. Some claim abortion is murder and that the sexual acts clause promotes homosexuality. Asked if he plans to proceed with the bill in the upcoming session of Parliament, Trudeau tells the CBC's Ron Collister in this clip that it is "classed as top priority for this session" and it "should be passed forward as fast as it can".
• While the bill sought to liberalize abortion laws in Canada, it didn't allow women to have 'abortion on demand', much to the disgruntlement of a growing number of feminists and pro-choice advocates at the time. Women didn't receive that freedom until Jan. 28, 1988 when the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canada's abortion law as unconstitutional because it infringed upon a woman's right to "life, liberty and security of person."

• In this same interview, Trudeau is asked about rumours that he planned to announce that weekend his intention to run for the Liberal leadership. His answer? "That speculation is completely false." Less than two weeks later Trudeau formally declared his candidacy. On Apr. 6, 1968 he won the Liberal leadership election in a landslide and was sworn in as Canada's 15th Prime Minister on April 20.
Medium: Television
Program: CBC Newsmagazine
Broadcast Date: Jan. 23, 1968
Guest(s): Pierre Trudeau
Host: Ron Collister, Norman DePoe
Duration: 2:53

Last updated: September 13, 2013

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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