Former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau -- who swept to power on a wave of what was called "Trudeau-mania" and led Canada for more than a decade -- announced on Wednesday (21 November) he is stepping down as head of the opposition Liberal Party.
GV AND ZOOM OUT: Ottawa river bridge.
CU: Former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau speaking on separatism in the House of Commons and Commons members applaud. (3 shots)
SV INTERIOR: Margaret Trudeau with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser his wife. (3 shots)
CU: Trudeau speaking in English.
GV: Government building in Ottawa
CU: Opposition Leader, Conservative Joe Clark asking questions in the House of Commons.
LV: Trudeau replying (2 shots)
GV AND SV: Trudeau leaving the House of Commons and talking to supporters. (3 shots)
SCU: Trudeau speaking in English (3 shots)
SCU: Crowd respond
CU: Trudeau continues resignation speech
TRUDEAU: "I say to you with all the certainty I can command that Canada's unity will not be fractured. Accommodation....(Applause)...revisions will take place, accommodations will be made. We shall succeed."
TRUDEAU: "So a lady goes to a rock concert and than she goes to New York to visit friends and to do some photography. I don't think she can be faulted for disappointing the Canadian people or rocking the Canadian dollar."
TRUDEAU: "It is my duty at this time to recommend to my colleagues that we hand the government over and that I recommend to the Governor General that he ask Mr. Clark to form a government. And as for me, I think that I will be a pretty good leader of the opposition surrounded as I am....
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Background: Former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau -- who swept to power on a wave of what was called "Trudeau-mania" and led Canada for more than a decade -- announced on Wednesday (21 November) he is stepping down as head of the opposition Liberal Party. His surprise announcement comes six months after his government was defeated in general elections which ended sixteen years of Liberal power -- eleven of them under his leadership. He has asked Liberal Party officials to call a convention next March to choose his successor.
SYNOPSIS: Trudeau -- committed federalist and a bilingual Quebecker -- says he will continue to fight as he always has against Quebec separatism.
Trudeau's jet-set image changed in 1971 when he married. He and Margaret Trudeau were, for a time, Canada's favourite couple, but in 1977 they parted. The separation brought political trouble, but Trudeau rode it out with typical panache.
Trudeau's next test of public support was the June elections. He faced the challenge of Conservative Joe Clark -- a thirty eight year-old rapid-firing leader in a similar mould to Trudeau himself. But Clark was just one of his problems -- the ever-present strain go separatist demands from the province of Quebec, the ailing dollar, inflation and unemployment undermined his popularity.
Until June election, Trudeau had rarely lost his footing. But after ten years in power, "Trudeaumania" had died. Throughout his career as leader of the Liberal party, Trudeau also led Canada. But this time his election campaign theme of national unity didn't catch on and Canadians decided they wanted a change.