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The BBC's Bridget Kendall reports
"Internationally, Pierre Trudeau was known for championing third world development"
 real 56k

Friday, 29 September, 2000, 05:36 GMT 06:36 UK
World leaders mourn Trudeau
Pierre Trudeau pictured in 1977
Trudeau rode wave of popularity in the 1970s
World leaders have been paying tribute to the former Canadian Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, who has died at the age of 80.

On the international stage, he gave us a profile and stature well beyond our size and power

Canadian PM Jean Chretian
Mr Trudeau, who was one of the country's most influential politicians, needed hospital treatment for pneumonia in January and was said to have been in frail health since then.

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, who cut short an official visit to Jamaica, described his predecessor as a "political giant".

"Above all the forces of change that he set in motion continue to shape the soul of his people," he said.

'New era'

"On the international stage, he gave us a profile and stature well beyond our size and power. Wherever we were in the world, he made us feel proud to be Canadians."

A wellwisher holds a flag symbolising Canadian unity outside Mr Trudeau's home
A wellwisher holds a flag symbolising Canadian unity
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said: "He was a prime minister with vision, political courage and great personal style. We mourn his passing."

US President Bill Clinton said he remembered Trudeau for opening "a dynamic new era" in Canada.

"As prime minister for nearly a generation, Pierre Trudeau... helped establish Canada's unique imprint on the global stage," he said.

Political celebrity

The flag over Canada's Parliament is flying at half mast and people are laying flowers outside Trudeau's Montreal home.

"In addition to Parkinson's Disease, Mr Trudeau suffered from prostate cancer," his family said in a statement.

The son of a wealthy French-Canadian lawyer, the charismatic Pierre Trudeau became prime minister in 1968 at the age of 48, after three years in politics.
A wellwisher lays flowers outside Mr Trudeau's home
Tributes for one of the country's most influential figures

His style, along with his glamorous young wife, Margaret, marked a significant change in a country that had previously been averse to political celebrities.

Mr Trudeau championed a Canada united by a strong central government, with English and French as its two official languages.

He fought off separatism in his native Quebec, forged better relations with France and brought about the transfer of Canadian constitutional power from the British parliament, under a new national constitution.

Correspondents say although his good looks and flamboyant personality earned him his initial success, many Canadians became increasingly disappointed by his Federalist policies.

He was prime minister from 1968 to 1984, except for a nine-month period when he was out of office.

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02 Jan 00 | Americas
Pierre Trudeau suffering pneumonia
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