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The national debate on Trudeau’s Omnibus Bill

The Story


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.

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

Did You know?


• 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.


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