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Canada in the 1970s: A “Just” Society?

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Presentation on theme: "Canada in the 1970s: A “Just” Society?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Canada in the 1970s: A “Just” Society?

2 What makes a “just” society?
Qualities of a JUST society Qualities of an UNJUST society

3 Pierre Trudeau RECALL …
What qualities made Trudeau such a popular politician? What were his goals for Canada?

4 “By building a truly just society, this beautiful, rich and energetic country of ours can become a model in which every citizen will enjoy his fundamental rights, in which two great linguistic communities and people of many cultures will live in harmony, and in which every individual will find fulfillment.” - Trudeau, after winning leadership of the Liberal Party in 1968

5 “And so I based my campaign on the central theme of the Just Society
“And so I based my campaign on the central theme of the Just Society. Achieving such a society would require promoting equality of opportunity and giving the most help to those who were the most disadvantaged. Social security and equalization payments, as well as a ministry of regional economic expansion, would give practical effect to these abstract principles. As well, I announced what we would do to redress the federal Canadian state’s traditional injustice towards French, the mother tongue of 27% of the Canadian population.” Pierre Trudeau, Memoirs (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1993), pp

6 Throughout the 1970s, the federal government took many actions to implement and ensure a just society for Canada Many Canadians began to speak out against traditional values, attitudes, and ways of doing things These groups of Canadians were greatly impacted by the changes being made: Women, French-Canadians, Supporters of Same-Sex Attraction, Economic groups, Aboriginals

7 FRENCH CANADIANS The Quiet Revolution sparked new pride in French Canadians – some believed that the only way to protect their language and culture was the creation of an independent Quebec The FLQ was an extremist separatist group and used terrorism to promote their ideas In October 1970, they had kidnapped two political officials, demanding freedom for FLQ members who had been previously caught and jailed Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act

8 Parti Quebecois formed in 1968 – goal = independence for Quebec
Won provincial election in 1976 under Levesque He proposed a less extreme version of separation = sovereignty association. This meant that Quebec could govern itself but keep its economic ties Referendum 1980 on the issue of sovereignty association – majority voted “non” Another referendum in 1995, with the same end result, but much closer results

9 1974, French declared the only official language in Quebec
1969 – Official Languages Act – made it law that both English and French be official languages of Canada, and be used in all federal government services 1974, French declared the only official language in Quebec Many protested this – English speakers in Quebec resented that they had to have their children tested to be allowed into English schools; French speakers did not feel that this declaration was enough 1977, Bill 101 passed – declared that only French was to be used in workplaces and schools; with few exceptions, English was to be banned in Quebec

10 ECONOMIC GROUPS For many Canadians, a social safety net was vital in making Trudeau’s just society a reality In 1962, Tommy Douglas pioneered universal health care By 1972, it was reality for all Canadians – all provinces agreed to join

11 Economic downturn in the 1960s and 1970s – jobs were harder to get, and workers worried about inflation Workers demanded raises, which often led to strikes – the success of some workers obtaining their demands prompted other workers to demand similar improvements

12 Stagflation was a result in the 1970s = consumer demand and job growth stagnate, while inflation pushes prices up Unions struggled to protect members’ jobs

13 Rising oil prices contributed to stagflation
In 1973, price increased from $4 to $16 a barrel, resulting in prices of goods and services to go up, and some factories in Canada to close Alberta and Saskatchewan experienced prosperity because of the increased prices In 1975, Trudeau introduced wage and price controls – this meant that the government would control wages of workers as well as the prices companies could charge for certain goods This was a first during peacetime Many people protested that prices were not as controlled as wages


15 1966 – Committee for Equality of Women in Canada formed – the govt
1966 – Committee for Equality of Women in Canada formed – the govt. created the Royal Commission on the Status of Women, which was designed to ensure equal opportunities for women It found many examples of discrimination against women (ex. Airlines made stewardesses sign agreements that allowed the company to fire them at age 30)

16 Although many women were working outside the home by the 1960s, they were paid less and seldom promoted Many of the recommendations in the Report became law, such as equal pay for work of equal value Trudeau appointed the first minister responsible for the status of women – creation of the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women to deal with these issues

17 As more women joined the workforce, they wanted to control the size, and timing, of their families
Women also gained maternity leave in the 1970s along with the right to return to work after giving birth Trudeau also changed the Criminal Code so that divorce was easier to obtain by women and abortion was no longer illegal

18 Same –Sex Attraction In the 1970s, same sex attraction was particularly controversial. Many different views existed: some believed it was a choice, others believed it was a sin, and some believed it to be a genetic disorder Trudeau’s government responded to this controversial topic.

19 SSA Rights s 1972 First issue of The Other Woman, a lesbian feminist newspaper, published 1975 John Damien fired by Ontario Racing Commission because of his sexual orientation; launched a lengthy court case 1976 NDP became the first political party to support the gay movement 1977 Sexual orientation included in the Quebec Charter of Human Rights 1979 Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation included sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination policy How do these events reflect, or not reflect, the idea of a just society? In 1967, Trudeau, as Minister of Justice, made reforms in laws that made SSA illegal and stated: “The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation.”

20 ABORIGINALS Indian Act – was designed to integrate Indians into predominate Canadian culture and economy In 1969, Trudeau proposed to abolish it – they could retain their culture but give up special status Aboriginal groups were outraged – claimed that as the first inhabitants of Canada, they were entitled to special rights such as: Self-government Right to land where treaties had not been signed Right to the support promised to them in treaties from previous generations The government dropped the proposal

21 Timeline of events 1960 Aboriginal people the last group of Canadians granted the right to vote 1969 Government closes residential schools The White Paper – issued without consultation of Aboriginal peoples – intended to enable First Nations to achieve integration and equality with other Canadians; outrage led government to withdraw proposal 1970s Aboriginal women who married non-Aboriginal partners were forced to give up their Indian status, while Aboriginal men marrying non-Aboriginal women could keep theirs 1971 Calder Case –Nisga’s First Nation of northern BC tried to negotiate a treaty recognizing their claim to the land they lived on; took to Supreme Court 1972 National Indian Brotherhood urges government to allow Aboriginal people to control their children’s education to learn about culture & values – a political voice for aboriginals 1975 Quebec government built a hydroelectric project at James Bay without consulting Inuit or Cree peoples living there; eventually the Que. govt. was forced to negotiate with the Inuit and Cree

22 Walk in my moccasins “Do you know what it is like to feel you are of no value to society and those around you? To know that people came to help you but not to work with you for your knew that they knew you had nothing to offer …? Do you know what it is like to have a race belittled and to come to learn that you are only a burden to the country? Maybe we did not have the skills to make a meaningful contributions, but no one would wait for us to catch up. We were shoved aside because we were dumb and could never learn. What is it like to be without pride in your race, pride in you family, pride and confidence in yourself? What is it like? You don’t know for you never tasted its bitterness.” –Chief Dan George

23 NOW THAT THE BUFFALO’S GONE – BUFFY SAINTE MARIE Can you remember the times That you have held your head high and told all your friends of your Indian claim Proud good lady and proud good man Some great great grandfather from Indian blood came and you feel in your heart for these ones Oh it's written in books and in song that we've been mistreated and wronged Well over and over I hear those same words from you good lady and you good man Well listen to me if you care where we stand and you feel you're a part of these ones When a war between nations is lost the loser we know pays the cost but even when Germany fell to your hands consider dear lady, consider dear man you left them their pride and you left them their land and what have you done to these ones Has a change come about my dear man or are you still taking our lands A treaty forever your senators sign They do dear lady, they do dear man and the treaties are broken again and again and what will you do for these ones Oh it's all in the past you can say but it's still going on here today The governments now want the Navaho land that of the Inuit and the Cheyenne It's here and it's now you can help us dear man Now that the buffalo's gone.

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