CBC Digital Archives

The national debate on Trudeau's Omnibus Bill

"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.

media clip
After Lester B. Pearson steps down, Trudeau wins the Liberal leadership and becomes the new Prime Minister. He immediately calls for a federal election and in the process the Omnibus Bill dies on the Order paper. In this clip, Trudeau jousts with the other party leaders and says he wants to reintroduce the bill, and defends the homosexuality and abortion clauses. "We're not going to send policemen in the nation's bedrooms," says a defiant Trudeau.
• Trudeau and the Liberals went on to win a majority government in the June 25th federal election, claiming 155 seats in the House of Commons and over 45 per cent of the popular vote. The Tories won 72 seats, and Robert Stanfield became the official opposition leader. The NDP won 22 seats in the election, even though Tommy Douglas was defeated in his riding. He was later elected to the House in a by-election.

• Under Réal Caouette, the federal Social Credit Party had claimed 26 seats in Quebec during the 1962 federal election. National leader Robert Thompson was responsible for a meagre four seats in English Canada. This imbalance led to a split in 1963 when Caouette formed his own group, the Ralliement des Créditistes. That party went on to have representation in Parliament until 1980.
Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television News Special
Broadcast Date: June 9, 1968
Guest(s): Réal Caouette, Tommy Douglas, Robert Stanfield, Pierre Elliott Trudeau
Panellist: Pierre Nadeau
Duration: 6:38

Last updated: September 13, 2013

Page consulted on November 4, 2014

All Clips from this Topic

Related Content

1979: Trudeau steps down as Liberal leader

Trudeau announces he will no longer be leader of the Liberal party.

1977: Question Period goes live

Question Period from the House of Commons is broadcast live on TV for the first time.

Trudeaumania: A Swinger for Prime Minister

In 1968, a swinger ran for prime minister. Canadians had never before seen anyone like Pierre ...

Trudeau's Omnibus Bill: Challenging Canadian ...

"There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation." Those unforgettable words made...

Actor Colm Feore on playing Trudeau

Actor Colm Feore discusses his upcoming role as Trudeau in the CBC miniseries based on the pol...

'Trudeau's children'

MuchMusic VJ Monika Deol talks about what her idol Trudeau meant to her, growing up as an immi...