SASKATOON — The "just society" imagined by Pierre Elliott Trudeau has moved beyond human rights and is now about equality of opportunity, Justin Trudeau said this week on the 10th anniversary of his father’s death.
"I think that the just society still remains an important thing to look for, but the idea of a just society has evolved," said Trudeau, the former prime minister’s eldest son who, at his father’s funeral, gave a powerful eulogy that many say launched his political career.
"When my father was fighting for the just society, it was about recognizing the rights of all individuals and that was (enshrined) with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I think if there’s a just society we need to fight for now, it’s a society that goes beyond the rights of the individuals and recognizes the value of all individuals."
Trudeau, the 38-year-old Montreal MP, is considered by some a potential future leader of the party.
Trudeau took questions Tuesday at a University of Saskatchewan campus book store, urging students to get involved despite widespread cynicism among young people toward the political process.
Pierre Trudeau, the long-serving Liberal prime minister, died at the age of 80 on Sept. 28, 2000.
One of the most polarizing figures in Canadian history, one of Trudeau’s most prominent achievements was the Charter of Rights and he often invoked the just society as a rhetorical device to speak to his commitment to fairness.
The value with the highest priority today should be equality of opportunity, Justin Trudeau told reporters and students.
"Everyone in this society has something to offer and we have to make sure as a society, as a country, we are giving opportunities to everyone to be whatever it is they can be, whether it’s a great artist, or a simple community worker or a CEO, whether it’s a proud teacher or a homemaker," Trudeau said.
"Whatever our path is as individuals, we should live in a society that encourages us and enables us to become what it is we dream of giving so that we can contribute."
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‘Just society’ has evolved, Justin Trudeau saysIn Canada on September 29, 2010 at 14:16