There is no such thing as a model or ideal Canadian. What could be more absurd than the concept of an "all Canadian" boy or girl? A society which emphasizes uniformity is one which creates intolerance and hate.

— Pierre Trudeau

The most unforgettable Pierre Trudeau quotes to discover and learn by heart

A country, after all, is not something you build as the pharaohs built the pyramids, and then leave standing there to defy eternity. A country is something that is built every day out of certain basic shared values.


If Canada is to survive, it can only survive in mutual respect and in love for one another.


Our hopes are high. Our faith in the people is great. Our courage is strong. And our dreams for this beautiful country will never die.


The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.


We must now establish the basic principles, the basic values and beliefs which hold us together as Canadians so that beyond our regional loyalties there is a way of life and a system of values which make us proud of the country that has given us such freedom and such immeasurable joy.


Bilingualism is not an imposition on the citizens.

The citizens can go on speaking one language or six languages, or no languages if they so choose. Bilingualism is an imposition on the state and not the citizens.


What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other. Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute; pedal five hundred on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature.


I bear solemn witness to the fact that NATO heads of state and of government meet only to go through the tedious motions of reading speeches, drafted by others, with the principal objective of not rocking the boat.


Let us overthrow the totems, break the taboos.

Or better, let us consider them cancelled. Coldly, let us be intelligent.


I will use all my strength to bring about a just society to a nation living in a tough world.


Canada is a country whose main exports are hockey players and cold fronts.

Our main imports are baseball players and acid rain.


Well, I am trying to put Quebec in its place - and the place of Quebec is in Canada, nowhere else.


About Pierre Trudeau

Quotes 125 sayings
Nationality Canadian
Profession Statesman
Birthday October 16

I remember thinking that walking on the beach as a free man is pretty desirable.


Luck, that's when preparation and opportunity meet.


The new frontier lies not beyond the planets but within each one of us.


Canada will be a strong country when Canadians of all provinces feel at home in all parts of the country, and when they feel that all Canada belongs to them.


I just think you Westerners should take over this country if you are so smart.


My life is one long curve, full of turning points.


I was inclined to judge the validity of a man's faith more by the depth of his roots in reality and brotherhood and love. So I felt more at home, shall we say with some Zoroastrians in the Far East, than I did with some Catholic missionaries.


Paddling a canoe is a source of enrichment and inner renewal.


I walked until midnight in the storm, then I went home and took a sauna for an hour and a half. It was all clear. I listened to my heart and saw if there were any signs of my destiny in the sky, and there were none - there were just snowflakes.


I don't see any easy way of disqualifying people on the basis that they decide not to work.


I believe a constitution can permit the co-existence of several cultures and ethnic groups with a single state.


What is wonderful about a university like LSE is that you not only receive teaching of very high quality, you also learn where to find the knowledge you are seeking. And you make unexpected discoveries; it was a Marxist professor who introduced me to the work of Cardinal Newman, a great master of English prose as well as theology.


I want to separate sin from crime. You may have to ask forgiveness for your sins from God, but not from the Minister of Justice. There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.


We don't think every man should be free to pass on everything to his descendants.


Canadians should realise when they are well off under the Monarchy.

For the vast majority of Canadians, being a Monarchy is probably the only form of government acceptable to them. I have always been for parliamentary democracy and I think the institution of Monarchy with the Queen heading it all has served Canada well.


Society is responsible for its social organization, and if it can't provide the wherewithal for men to be gainfully employed then it should pay the penalty and give them welfare.


I would have to point out in the strongest terms the autocracy of the Liberal structure and the cowardice of its members. I have never seen in all my examination of politics so degrading a spectacle as that of all these Liberals turning their coats in unison with their Chief, when they saw the chance to take power.


It seems to me it would be pretty awful if Canadians came to choose political leaders not for their political ideas and actions, but because of their adherence or their devotedness to one faith or another.


We wish nothing more, but we will accept nothing less.

Masters in our own house we must be, but our house is the whole of Canada.


I think it's good that you test the reality that surrounds you in your neighbourhood with the reality as it is in other parts of the world; you come up with a better judgment. I'm not meaning that literally you can only do that and not go to school at all but in terms of enrichment of a personality I think it's a fabulous thing.


In academic life you seek to state absolute truths;

in politics you seek to accommodate truth to the facts around you.


Society must take every means at its disposal to defend itself against the emergence of a parallel power which defies the elected power.


Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant.

No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.


We peer so suspiciously at each other that we cannot see that we Canadians are standing on the mountaintop of human wealth, freedom and privilege.


I think that as the guardian of justice elected by the people it's our duty to use whatever forms of force, police, army, to make sure that at least the freedom of choice is preserved.


The Canadian community must invest, for the defence and better appreciation of the French language, as much time, energy, and money as are required to prevent the country from breaking up


The next time you see Jesus Christ, ask Him what happened to the just society He promised 2,000 years ago.


The Jesuits were good educators, exceptional teachers.

In an era and in a society where freedom of speech was not held in high regard, of course, that the discourse be focused on what they were teaching, but we were able to go beyond this framework without incurring too great a risk.


As does every young man studying philosophy, I naturally asked myself questions about the truth of all this, and about the meaning of freedom, predestination, and liberty of choice and so on. But to have asked questions of yourself about it, I think is not too important. Let's say - I remain - I remained a believer.


Harvard was an extraordinary window on the world.


I believe in God, and I'm a Christian.


This is the beauty of the democratic process: it permits that subjective view of justice - which everyone holds - permits that subjective way to express itself peacefully through discussion, through reason and through the voting process.


I think that more and more young people are discovering that gainful employment isn't the only thing in life. That they can perhaps be just as useful to society and themselves by travelling across the land or around the world, learning more about humanity and going through the various experiences which will make their adulthood more productive.


As against the "invisible hand" of Adam Smith, there has to be a visible hand of politicians whose objective is to have the kind of society that is caring and humane.


You know you have a lot of impatience with reality as you see it when you're a young man and full of dynamism and strength and ideals and so on.


The attainment of a just society is the cherished hope of civilized men.


I think the sense of exclusivity that tended to be associated with religions in past times has now disappeared. At least it has disappeared in its political and social manifestations as far as I can see.