It was on this day in 1967 that then Justice Minister Pierre Trudeau, in presenting his Omnibus Bill reforming the Criminal Code, tells the House of Commons that “There is no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.”
His bill calls for decriminalization of ‘homosexual acts’ performed in private, making it legal for women to get an abortion if a committee of three doctors feels the pregnancy endangers the mental, emotional or physical well-being of the mother.
The bill also calls for the legalization of lotteries, further controls on gun ownership, and breathalyzer tests on suspected drunk drivers if police have reasonable and probable cause.
Trudeau was elected on the fourth ballot and sworn in as Canada’s 15th prime minister on April 20, 1968. He was named “top Canadian newsmaker of the 20th century” in December 1999.
While in office he implemented the Official Languages Act, Wage and Price controls, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and worked the War Measures Act. He appointed the first woman Speaker in the House of Commons and Canada’s first woman Governor-General. He vowed to keep the state out of the nation’s bedrooms.
On July 1st, 2001, Canada Post issued a single domestic rate stamp to commemorate the life and career of Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
To date, no coins of Trudeau have been produced by the Royal Canadian Mint, however, he was one of several prime ministers featured in a collector’s medallion set released by Shell Canada in the early 1970s.