Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Margaret, the Activist

The marriage between Margaret and Pierre Trudeau deteriorated to the point where, Margaret had an affair with Senator Ted Kennedy. She was also associated with members of the Rolling Stones such as Ronnie Woods and Mick Jagger. (This is according to Margaret's book and Keith Richards' autobiography respectively.)

Margaret separate from Pierre in 1977 and began a much talked about life as a jet-setter. She was also suffering from stress and bipolar disorder depression. Her ex-husband won custody of the boys and didn't pay any spousal support so Margaret found it difficult to make a living after her divorce. She began to give tell-all interviews to magazines in the US and Canada as well as appearing in two movies. She also wrote the book, Beyond Reason, which told of her marriage to the Canadian politician.

Pierre Trudeau's Liberal party failed to maintain a majority of seats in the House of Commons in the 1979 election. On that evening, Margaret Trudeau was dancing at the New York City nightclub, Studio 54. The next day, photos of her dancing were splashed across papers nationwide.

On November 16, 1983, Margaret filed for a no-fault divorce. It was finalized on April 2, 1984. Just over two weeks later, on April 18, 1984, Margaret married Ottawa real-estate developer, Fried Kemper. Her three sons attended the wedding. Margaret and Fried had two children together: a son named Kyle born in 1984 and a daughter, Alicia, born in 1988.

Tragedy struck the Trudeau family in November of 1988. Michel, the youngest son, was killed was killed when an avalanche swept him to the bottom of British Columbia's Kokanee Lake. This was devastating for Margaret and she suffered another massive depressive episode. The led to her second divorce.

Pierre Trudeau died in 2000 and Margaret - as well as their two sons, Justin and Alexandre - were at his bedside. 10 years later, Margaret said about her marriage to Trudeau;

"Just because our marriage ended didn’t mean the love stopped."

On May 5, 2006, Margaret announced she was suffering from bipolar disorder. She is an advocate for reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness, particularly bipolar disorder. She has speaking engagements across North America and is an honorary patron of the Canadian Mental Health Association.  She is also the author of Changing My Mind a look at her struggles with bipolar disorder. The book was published in 2010 by Harper Collins.

Today, Margaret Trudeau is he honorary president of WaterCan, an Ottawa-based organization dedicated to helping the poorest communities in developing countries build sustainable water supply and sanitation services.

On October 19, 2015, Margaret's eldest son, Justin Trudeau, began his run for the position of Prime Minister of Canada. Justin led the Liberal party to a majority government, making him the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada. During the campaign period, Trudeau avoided campaigning herself in fear of suggesting her son was "so unready he needs his mummy."

This is my last entry for 2015. I want to thank all my readers for their continued support. I love writing this blog, finding out more about the city and country I live and sharing it with you. However, my goals in life have shifted a bit.

On September 14, 2015, I launched a mentor/life coach program to help people with chronic illness or disability reach goals, achieve dreams and live a better life. I have also recently become a member of the Rick Hansen Ambassador program. I have a budding career as a motivational speaker. In 2016, I am going to be pursuing these goals with more vigor so there may be gaps in how often I write the Vancouver Voyageur. I am not deserting you yet though.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the above information.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

Have a very Merry Christmas and may all your dreams come true in 2016.

Karen Magill


  1. I am glad you aren't leaving us so quickly. I need time to get over the Vancouver Voyager and Karen Magill's blog. Dang, I start to get back on my feet and you pull ever so slightly the rug out from under me, May you have success in your new adventure.

  2. Don't worry Lee. I'll be back in January!