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Breaking News

CBC Reports Former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau Dead

Aired September 28, 2000 - 6:04 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: We have late word from Canada, the Canadian Broadcasting Company is quoting family members as saying that former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau has died.

CNN's Mark Leff now looks back on the Trudeau years.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARK LEFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In 1968, they called it Trudeaumania. Canadians went crazy over a balding 49-year-old bachelor politician from Montreal. Quebec native Pierre Trudeau had liberal ideas, but a conservative approach to the idea of separation for his home province.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PIERRE TRUDEAU, FORMER PRIME MINISTER, CANADA: But I am going to put Quebec in its place, and the place of Quebec is in Canada, and all around.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEFF: He was a popular liberal party prime minister in his early years, but in 1970, when Quebec separatists kidnapped a provincial minister and a British diplomat, Trudeau invoked emergency war powers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUDEAU: More important to keep law and order in this society than to be worried about weak-kneed people who don't like the looks of...

QUESTION: At any cost? At any cost? How far would you go with that? How far would you extend that?

TRUDEAU: Well, just watch me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEFF: Still, kidnappers killed one man and held the other for two months. In 1971, Trudeau married Margaret Sinclair, a woman nearly 30 years his junior. They had three sons and a lot of problems before a separation and eventual divorce.

Never one to hide his feelings, Trudeau had his ups and downs with other Canadians as well.

Three months after progressive-conservative Joe Clark replaced him as prime minister in late 1979...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUDEAU: Well, welcome to the 1980s.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEFF: ... Trudeau returned to help defeat the national referendum on Quebec separation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUDEAU: No, that's our answer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEFF: A political struggle brought a new Canadian constitution, independent of Britain. Queen Elizabeth signed it in 1982.

In the early 1980s, Pierre Trudeau was a high-profile player on the world political stage, often critical of U.S. policy. But Canadians began to tire of Trudeau, both his flamboyant personality and his politics. And in 1984, he retired.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUDEAU: To use the old cliche, this is the first day of the rest of my life, and here we are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEFF: Two years ago, his youngest son died in an avalanche. Now Pierre Elliott Trudeau is dead, at 80.

Mark Leff, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHAW: Again, that confirmed, word from Canada and the Canadian Broadcasting Company.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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