Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s Trudeauisms

  • My life is one long curve, full of turning points.
  • Luck, that’s when preparation and opportunity meet.
  • The essential ingredient of politics is timing.
  • In academic life you seek to state absolute truths; in politics you seek to accommodate truth to the facts around you.
  • 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 am trying to put Quebec in its place — and the place of Quebec is in Canada.
  • Canada is a country whose main exports are hockey players and cold fronts. Our main imports are baseball players and acid rain.
  • 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.
  • I believe a constitution can permit the co-existence of several cultures and ethnic groups with a single state.
  • I believe that Canada cannot, indeed, that Canada must not survive by force. The country will only remain united – it should only remain united – if its citizens want to live together in one civil society.
  • The die is cast in Canada: there are two ethnic and linguistic groups; each is too strong and too deeply rooted in the past, too firmly bound to a mother culture, to be able to swamp the other. But if the two will collaborate inside of a truly pluralist state, Canada could become a privileged place where the federalist form of government, which is the government of tomorrow’s world, will be perfected.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • If there is anything that puzzles me in this game, it is that the longer that you are in the job of prime minister, the harder you have to work to do your job. With anything else ….you get to know the ropes pretty well and it becomes easy.  I feel the more you know, the more you have to know and  the more problems come at you.  It is certainly not because I do not delegate.
  • Power only tires those who don’t exercise it.
  • The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.
  • Let us overthrow the totems, break the taboos. Or better, let us consider them cancelled. Coldly, let us be intelligent.
  • The past is to be respected and acknowledged, but not to be worshipped. It is our future in which we will find our greatness.
  • Liberalism is the philosophy for our time, because it does not try to conserve every tradition of the past, because it does not apply to new problems the old doctrinaire solutions, because it is prepared to experiment and innovate and because it knows that the past is less important than the future.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Some things I never learned to like. I didn’t like to kiss babies, though I didn’t mind kissing their mothers. I didn’t like to slap backs or other parts of the anatomy. I liked hecklers, because they brought my speeches alive. I liked supporters, because they looked happy. And I really enjoyed mingling with people, if there wasn’t too much of it.
  • 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.


Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

The PM and his Wife

sophietrudeauOne night Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie decided to do something out of routine and go for a casual dinner at a restaurant that wasn’t too luxurious.


When they were seated, the owner of the restaurant asked the PM’s RCMP detail if he could please speak to the First Lady in private. They obliged and Sophie had a conversation with the owner.


Following this conversation Justin asked Sophie, why was he so interested in talking to her. She mentioned that in her teenage years, he had been madly in love with her.


Justin then said, “So if you had married him, you would now be the owner of this lovely restaurant,” to which Sophie responded, “No, if I had married him, he would now be the Prime Minister.”




(ed. – Thank you to our friend and regular contributor Dick Inwood. He will see that we altered his original joke to apply it to our Canadian reality.)

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.



PM Trudeau’s 100 Days (2)


The first one hundred days of any new government reveals the character of its leadership and it usually signals the style and direction to be expected over the administration’s mandate. On November 4, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the oath of office and begin the 100-day count to set the course for his government and for our country over the next four years. (This is the second post counting the announcements of the government’s first 100 days. To see the first post from November/December – click HERE.)

There are great expectations of this new government. Canadians expect Trudeau to follow through on his big promises of tax cuts to middle class, 25,000 refugees by Christmas, money and settlements to First Nations, and bold moves with climate change and the environment. We also expect a more respectful political tone from the Liberals and a new, open and transparent government. To provide a measuring tool against those expectations, By George Journal will compile the Trudeau Government’s news and achievements through to February 11, 2016 – 100 days in office.

Day 42 (Dec 15) PM Trudeau receives the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and re-states a campaign promise that the government would fully implement the recommendations. PM Statement

Day 58 (Dec 31) The government fell short of its goal to bring over 10,000 refugees by end of year, instead reaching less than 6,000. Minister McCallum stated it is to take another two weeks to reach the goal of 10,000. (The original government goal was 25,000 Syrian refugees by Christmas.)

Day 63 (Jan 5) Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion says the federal government “will not cancel” a $15-billion contract for military vehicles sold to Saudi Arabia, despite international criticism over 47 executions that took place in the country.

Day 66 (Jan 8) Liberal MP Bill Blair, former Toronto police chief, is appointed the government’s new pot czar lead the effort to implement the Liberal campaign promise to legalize marijuana. Blair on marijuana: “Our intent is to legalize, regulate and restrict”

Day 68 (Jan 10) After news of his holidays was found out by media, PM Trudeau announces he will reimburse taxpayers for part of the costs of taking his family on a government jet for a Caribbean getaway over the holidays. He promises to pay the equivalent economy-class flights for himself and wife and kids.

Day 69 (Jan 11) Finance Minister Bill Morneau begins hosting pre-budget consultations across Canada. The finance minister expects the federal coffers to be $15-billion less than it was projected to be last year.

Day 73 (Jan 15) PM Trudeau selected David MacNaughton, chairman of Strategy Corp., who co-chaired Mr. Trudeau’s Liberal election campaign in Ontario, to become ambassador to Washington. He selected Marc-André Blanchard, the chief executive officer of the law firm McCarthy Tétrault, who was on Mr. Trudeau’s transition team, as ambassador to the United Nations.

Day 76 (Jan 18) PM and Cabinet ministers hold a retreat in Saint Andrews, New Brunswick to “talk about what promises the government can afford to deliver in its first budget.”

Day 78 (Jan 20) PM Trudeau delivers a speech to attendees at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland. His address is entitled “The Canadian Opportunity” – click here.

Day 78 (Jan 20) PM Trudeau announced a new clerk of the Privy Council – Michael Wernick was appointed to the top job in the bureaucracy, replacing Janice Charette, who will remain as a senior adviser in PCO.

Day 79 (Jan 21) U.S. Defence Secretary Ashton Carter met defence ministers of leading countries “playing a significant role” in the attacks against the Islamic State. Canada was not invited leaving Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan to deny the snub.

Day 79 (Jan 21) Health Minister Jane Philpott meets with her provincial and territorial counterparts to discuss health priorities in Canada. Provinces use the opportunity to press federal government on funding.

Day 83 (Jan 25) MPs return to Ottawa and Parliament resumes from the Christmas break. International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland announces that Canada will sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership accord text next week, but insists this does not signal the Liberals are approving the deal. She explains the Liberals remain officially uncommitted to the trade deal.

Day 84 (Jan 26)  Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion announces in Question Period that Canada is lifting a series of unilateral sanctions against Iran and, when pressed, indicated Bombardier would be allowed to export military equipment to the country. In another interview Minister Dion also indicated that Canada is taking steps to “normalize” relations with Russia irrespective of its invasion of Ukraine.

Day 85 (Jan 27) Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr announce a new set of rules for reviewing proposed pipelines and other energy projects that includes an additional consultative process with First Nations and a new environmental assessment that will take into account all greenhouse gas emissions.

Day 86 (Jan 28) Employment Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk announced in House that the government will reverse the Conservative laws that ‘undermine’ unions – those that require unions to disclose how they spend members’ dues and makes it harder for unions to organize in federally regulated workplaces.

Day 87 (Jan 29) Canada’s environment ministers met in an effort to negotiate a national carbon strategy to meet Canada’s international pledge to cut climate-warming pollution. The ministers spent the day behind closed doors in a session chaired by federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna.

Day 89 (Jan 31) PM Trudeau participated in a CBC News Special that featured 10 Canadians interviewing him one-on-one about issues from jobs to the environment. This was aired and the interviews and follow-up reports can be found on the CBC website.

Day 92&93 (Feb 3&4) PM Trudeau met with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and held a roundtable with oil and gas producers to discuss what the federal government could do to support the challenged economic situation in the Province. The PM announced that he would speed up the delivery of previously promised $700 million transfer payments and would consider further support. He did not indicate support for future pipelines but reiterated the new regulatory process announced by the government.

Day 97 (Feb 8) PM Trudeau announced a new Canadian mission against ISIS. Canadian CF-18s will stop bombing on Feb. 22, and return home. Our forces will provide direct training to local forces. Recon planes and air-to-air re-fueling tanker will remain in the region. The government will increase humanitarian aid and provide more weapons and counsel to the Iraqi government.

Day 98 (Feb 9) PM Trudeau appeared at a political rally with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne for the Liberal candidate in an upcoming provincial by-election in Whitby-Oshawa.

Day 99 (Feb 10) Jim Carr, natural resources minister, promises the Assembly of First Nations that Aboriginal Peoples will be consulted meaningfully on resource projects and decisions will be based on science. The ministers stated the Liberal government would “change the language on resource development” and “strive for consensus” to develop natural resources based on a low-carbon, sustainable energy economy.

Day 100 (Feb 11) PM Trudeau met with UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon in Ottawa to discuss climate change, peacekeeping and the refugee crisis. The UN chief pressed the PM on increasing financial contributions to the organization and its causes.

(ed. – To view the earlier days of the government, go to: PM Trudeau’s 100 Days (1))



Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a trusted executive assistant, a communications can-do guy, or a go-to-scribe? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.


PM Trudeau’s 100 Days (1)


The first one hundred days of any new government reveals the character of its leadership and it usually signals the style and direction to be expected over the administration’s mandate. On November 4, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the oath of office and begin the 100-day count to set the course for his government and for our country over the next four years.

There are great expectations of this new government. Canadians expect Trudeau to follow through on his big promises of tax cuts to middle class, 25,000 refugees by Christmas, money and settlements to First Nations, and bold moves with climate change and the environment. We also expect a more respectful political tone from the Liberals and a new, open and transparent government.  To provide a measuring tool against those expectations, By George Journal will compile the Trudeau Government’s news and achievements through the first 100 days, through to February 11, 2016. (The photo is of the new PM on his first day on the job – source Justin Trudeau Facebook page.)

Here is the “PM Trudeau’s 100 Days”

Day 1 (Nov 4) – PM announces a 30 member cabinet that has a symbolic 50% women (gender equality was the first criteria in making the cabinet) and a total of 18 rookie MPs. (Links for Cabinet Ministers and Cabinet Committees.)

Day 2 (Nov 5) – Government restores the mandatory long-form census (but does not state what penalties will be enforced for those people refusing to fill out the questionnaire).

Day 3 (Nov 6) – PMO attempts to explain Cabinet selection of females, with a 1/3 of women ministers having a reduced role as ministers-of-state – and a reduced salary. (This is to be corrected at some time in the near future with all junior ministerial positions being elevated to full ministerial status. Therefore, there will be more ministers in the Trudeau Cabinet than in previous Harper Cabinets.)

Day 3 (Nov 6) – PM expresses “disappointment” with US President Obama’s rejection of Keystone XL pipeline and states this decision will not poison Canada-U.S. relations

Day 3 (Nov 6) – Through e-mail announcements from DMs and ADMs, government employees, most notably scientists, learn that they have been “unmuzzled” and now permitted to talk to media and public about their work.

Day 4 (Nov 7) – A large portrait of the Queen that had in the Foreign Affairs headquarters foyer was ordered by Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion to be removed and replaced by two landscapes by Quebec artist Alfred Pellan. A PM spokesperson stated it was an “internal decision.” It’s unclear where the Queen’s portrait has gone.

Day 6 (Nov 9) – New Environment Minister Catherine McKenna gives the okay for Montreal to proceed with its controversial proposal to dump eight billion litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River. She said “evidence-based decision making” played a part in her position on the sewage discharge, while overriding the concerns made by affected down-river communities, including First Nations.

Day 6 (Nov 9) – New Immigration Minister John McCallum pledges to bring to Canada 25,000 Syrian refugees by Christmas. Cabinet is to discuss the strategy this week without considering any price tag. But the minister does recommit to a campaign promise of an immediate $100 million for refugee processing and resettlement services.

Day 7 (Nov 10) – The Parliament Budget Office delivered news that, due to sunken oil and gas prices, Canada will have fiscal deficits averaging $4.3 billion annually for the next five years. The Liberals have promised “modest deficits” of $10 billion per year over the next few years – based on the Conservative’s projections of balanced budgets. So, this PBO news has some Liberals now talking about much more red ink in the years to come.

Day 10 (Nov 13) – PMO made public the ministerial mandate letters which outline the PM’s wishes of his ministers and the intent of the government. Included in these letters were: introducing a middle-class tax cut while raising taxes on wealthiest 1%; establishing national emissions-reduction targets and policies, including a new carbon tax; developing a new multi-year Health Accord; processing 25,000 Syrian refugees in coming months; halting combat missions in Iraq and Syria; implementing recommendations of Truth and Reconciliation Commission; developing a 10-year plan for infrastructure funding; placing a moratorium on oil-tanker traffic off coast of BC; and, decriminalizing marijuana.

Day 10 (Nov 13) – Paris came under attack by ISIS terrorists this evening, killing 129 people and injuring 100’s more. While world leaders delivered both empathy for the French people and condemnation of ISIS “war crimes against humanity”, PM Trudeau was notably mute on his criticism of the Islamic State. In media Q&As he affirmed his intent to remove Canadian planes from Syria and Iraq missions and to move ahead with his refugee plan to bring 25,000 Syrians to Canada by Christmas.

DAY 12 (Nov 15) – CBC reports that Trudeau receives a “rock star welcome” at the G20 conference in Turkey – and Canadian media has nicknamed him “Prime Minister Selfie” for his continual taking of and posing for iphone photos.

Day 12 (Nov 15) – PM Trudeau delivered his first major speech at the G20 conference in Turkey. World leaders spoke of their resolve in the face of the Paris tragedy and their pursuit for security in an uncertain world. Offside with the focus and mood of the other leaders, the Canadian PM delivered a prepared speech on significant infrastructure spending as a means of stimulating national economies.

Day 13 (Nov 16) – New justice minister Jody Wilson- Raybould, as her first act, announced the federal government was withdrawing a Supreme Court challenge involving the wearing of a niqab during swearing oaths at citizenship ceremonies. Muslims can wear face-covering veils during oath ceremonies. The Justice Minister also indicated that she was dropping the policy initiative that would have given the federal government the right to revoke Canadian citizenship from an individual convicted of treason or terrorism against Canadians.

Day 14 (Nov 17) – PM Trudeau commits to sending an increased number of military trainers to Syria to help train local forces in their fight against ISIS. This will occur once the fighter jets have halted their mission and have been brought home.

Day 16 (Nov 19) – PM Trudeau continued on his inaugural foreign affairs tour by attending the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit in Manila. There Justin Trudeau completed his first official meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama where they spoke of terrorism, climate change and the TPP trade agreement. (In a side-story that is making CBC headlines, Trudeau has been swarmed by young Asian women and has been given the handle “#APEChottie”.)

Day 17 (Nov 20) Finance Minister Bill Morneau delivered an economic update that reported the $2.4-billion surplus for 2015-16 projected in April by the Tories is now expected to be a $3-billion deficit. He stated the government will fulfil its pledge to balance the books four years from now despite the weaker economic environment and the steeper fiscal obstacles. (Former Conservative Finance Minister Joe Oliver stated, “The fact is we left them with a $1.6-billion surplus.”)

Day 20 (Nov 23) PM Trudeau hosted a First Ministers’ Meeting in Ottawa. The PM and all of Canada’s provincial and territorial leaders spent a few hours Monday preparing for the UN climate talks. The PM invited all to the Paris climate talks and also promised to follow-up with another First Ministers meeting within 90 days.

Day 21 (Nov 24) The government announced it is extending the December 31st deadline to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by two months, setting the end of February 2016 as a new target date. It stated that there were be only 10,000 will arrive by year’s end (the same number originally promised by Stephen Harper during the election campaign).

Day 22 (Nov 25) PM Trudeau is in London, England to meet with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace and with U.K. PM David Cameron at Downing Street. The PMs are to discuss the situations in Ukraine and Syria and the refugee crisis.

Day 24 (Nov 27) PM Trudeau is in Malta for the Commonwealth heads of government meeting. There he pledged $2.65 billion over the next five years to help developing countries fight climate change.

Day 26 (Nov 29) PM Trudeau travels to Paris for a bilateral meeting with President François Holland to consider the fight against ISIL, the Syrian refugee crisis and Canada’s priorities for the UN negotiations on climate change.

Day 27 (Nov 30) PM Trudeau attends the COP21 Leaders’ Event, joined by Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna and Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion as well as 5 Premiers. Leaders and climate negotiators from almost 200 countries are meeting from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 to try to work out the broadest and longest-lasting deal so far to slow global warming.

Day 27 (Nov 30) Liberal Party insider Michel Dorais signed a $1,800 a day sole-sourced contract to welcome Syrian refugees. Mr. Dorais will earn a total of $110,000 over a three-month period. He was once a key aide for Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre when he was immigration minister with the Chretien/Martin governments.

Day 29 (Dec 2) Finance Minister Bill Morneau announces the government will focus on its election pledges to invest in infrastructure, lower the federal debt-to-GDP ratio and balance the books in the fourth year of their mandate. He indicated that the Liberal campaign vow to keep annual deficits capped at $10 billion is no longer an objective.

Day 30 (Dec 3) Government announced that PM Justin Trudeau will appoint five new Independent senators as early as January – as part of his promise to reform the Senate. PM Trudeau selected the Senate Speaker and indicated that there would be no “government Senators” in the Upper Chamber.

Day 31 (Dec 4) His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, delivered the Speech from the Throne to open the 42nd session of Parliament and outline the Government’s agenda. View it here.

Day 34 (Dec 7) Finance Minister Bill Morneau conceded the promised tax breaks for the middle class will not be revenue-neutral and will actually cost the federal treasury $1.2 billion annually. He is moving ahead with the cuts, as well as eliminating both the income-splitting for families tax credit and the increase of the TFSA limits in the new year.

Day 35 (Dec 8) PM Trudeau announced the Liberal government will lift a long-standing two per cent cap on First Nations reserve program funding. He also vowed to move on implementing all 94 recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, including the public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women. The Liberals have promised to spend two years and $40 million on the study.

Day 38 (Dec 11) PM Trudeau and Ontario Premier Wynne were on hand to welcome the first two families from a plane that brought 163 Syrian refugees to Canada. They were joined by the ministers of immigration, health and defence, as well as local mayors and opposition immigration critics at a photo op where the PM entertained the refugees taking selfies. These are the first of the 10,000 refugees who are to come into Canada by Christmas – refugees who were part of the process initiated by the former government.

Day 39 (Dec 12) PM Trudeau announces that Canada agrees to strengthen the global response to limit global average temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius as well as pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees. Trudeau promises to meet with the Premiers within the next 90 days to work on a plan to meet our international commitments – which could include a new carbon pricing tax. (Photo of PM Trudeau with a cadre of ministers as well as provincial Premiers at the international summit on climate change. Source Justin Trudeau’s Facebook page.)


(ed. – This was last updated on Dec. 12th. The BGJ will be adding to this list in a new post after the Christmas Parliamentary break. Go directly to that post HERE.)



Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a trusted executive assistant, a communications can-do guy, or a go-to-scribe? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.


Our Election Newsletters


Last week the By George Journal delivered two special edition election newsletters. If you did not receive them, here are direct links to the publications:

The Campaign Wrap

The Day After The Night Before

By way of a personal observation on the election results, By George Editor Chris George offers an introductory commentary in the post-election newsletter greeting.

Last night was a dramatic election finale, the very stuff that Canadian history is made of: and so ends a Conservative era and so begins a new era of Liberalism. Canadians wanted change and voters delivered that change in striking fashion.

     Justin Trudeau out-campaigned his opponents and provided an enchanting dream of a better Canada, a more generous government and a more optimistic approach to governing. With a positive message of tapping our Nation’s potential, he returns to Ottawa with a sizable majority and a solid mandate from all parts of this country.

     Trudeau has performed his own remarkable Trudeaumania with this campaign and expectations are high indeed for this son of a legendary Prime Minister. With great anticipation, he must assemble his cabinet team and provide the direction to both keep his bevy of promises and meet Canada’s social and economic challenges. And with this dawning of a new era, comes Canadians’ hopes and well wishes that Prime Minister Trudeau will succeed.

Follow By George Journal through this week for further coverage on the aftermath of the election campaign. For a specific search of archived articles, click through the articles tagged: 2015 Election.