Our themes

From the beginning, the Foundation decided to centre our actions on four major themes that reflect central questions in the life and works of Pierre Elliott Trudeau: Human Rights and Dignity, Responsible Citizenship, Canada in the World and People and their Natural Environment. These questions encompass several issues of critical importance to people from here and abroad, and the Foundation community is committed to explore them by openly acquiring, transferring and exchanging knowledge. The Foundation stays abreast of current research and ideas, and our themes are frequently revisited to ensure that they maintain their relevance in the context of an ever-evolving academic and intellectual environment.

Three consequences for the Foundation’s choice of themes result from acknowledging this character of thematic inquiry. First, there is (and should be) nothing permanent either in their labels or in description of their field or content. (...) Second, because each is a variation on a larger theme, a change to one will have an impact on the others. (...) Third, as frameworks of inquiry, the themes are themselves means-ends complexes. They are neither «ultimate goals» nor merely instruments that have no intrinsic value.

Roderick A. Macdonald (1948 - 2014)
2004 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow
F.R. Scott Professor of Constitutional and Public Law
McGill University