Many Canadians view Pierre Elliott Trudeau as a Canadian hero, perhaps the most charismatic Prime Minister the nation has ever seen. Yet others are far more critical of Trudeau’s leadership and legacies. This ambivalence has led to popular opinion polls naming Pierre one of the greatest and worst Canadian of all time. Justin, Pierre’s 41-year-old son and current leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, is no less of a polarizing figure than his father. A media darling, Justin’s youthful energy and charm have worked both for and against him in assessments of his political capital and potential.
This panel of Canadian historians explores the past, present, and future of the Trudeau dynasty. It was hosted by Roxanne Panchasi.
Elise Chenier is a specialist in the history of sexuality and gender in twentieth century Canada and the United States. She recently launched the Trudeaumania Project, a social media campaign which aims to collect memorabilia related to Pierre Trudeau’s time in power.
Nicolas Kenny is a Canadian historian whose research focuses on the cultural history of cities. He is a regular commentator on federal and provincial politics for ICI Radio-Canada, the CBC’s French-language radio and television services in British Columbia.
Allen Seager studies Canadian Labour history, with a special interest in the history of the coal industry, mining communities in Western Canada, and the Canadian railway.
This roundtable is part of the SFU History Department’s “Heroes and Villains: Rethinking Good and Evil in History” series. The next talk will take place January 23, 2014, when Emily O’Brien will explore the good, the bad and the ugly of the Renaissance era of papal history and how this era represented a turning point for the Western Church.