Trudeau in 1998
Michel Charles-Émile Trudeau
October 2, 1975
|Died||November 13, 1998 (aged 23)|
|Alma mater||Dalhousie University|
|Parent(s)||Pierre Trudeau (father) |
Margaret Trudeau (mother)
Michel Charles-Émile Trudeau (October 2, 1975 – November 13, 1998) was the youngest son of Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Margaret Trudeau and the younger brother of current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He died in an avalanche on November 13, 1998, while skiing in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park.
He was born at the Ottawa Civic Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario, and named after his paternal grandfather, Charles-Émile. Trudeau was known to family and friends as Miche, a nickname given to him as a four-month-old by Fidel Castro when he accompanied his father and mother to Cuba in 1976, and he later started going by Mike. Trudeau lived his early life in Ottawa and later Montreal upon his father's retirement from politics in 1984, where he was a classmate of Sophie Grégoire. During their summer breaks, Michel and his brothers attended Camp Ahmek on Canoe Lake in Algonquin Provincial Park where he would later work as a camp counsellor. He studied at Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf before attending Dalhousie University to study microbiology. When talking about her sons each having distinctly different personalities in an interview in 1977, Margaret Trudeau said, "Justin, 6, is a prince – a very good little boy. Sasha (Alexandre), born Christmas Day, 1973, is a bit of a revolutionary, very determined and strong-willed. Miche (Michel) is a happy, well-adjusted child, who combined the best traits of both brothers."
Trudeau died as the result of an avalanche on November 13, 1998, aged 23. At the time, he had been working for about a year at Red Mountain Resort and living in Rossland, British Columbia. He was taking a backcountry skiing trip with some friends in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park when he was swept into Kokanee Lake and unable to reach the shore. His companions were unable to effect a rescue, and Trudeau drowned. An extensive search was launched, but his body has never been found. The lake's high altitude and limited days of open waters each year prevented divers from completing the search. The Trudeau family called off the recovery and later created a chalet nearby as a memorial to their youngest son.
A varietal of rose discovered by Betsy Dening, a British Columbia horticulturalist and Trudeau's aunt, debuted at the World Rose Festival in 2010 as the "Michel Trudeau Memorial Rosebush". Sales of the rosebush benefit the Canadian Avalanche Foundation.
- "A third son for Trudeaus". The Ottawa Citizen. 1975-10-02. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
- "Trudeau Names Son Michel". The Ottawa Citizen. UPI. 1975-10-16. Retrieved 2015-10-29.
- "TSC History". The Taylor Statten Camps. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
Prime Minister Trudeau, a former Ahmek camper himself (and yes, we taught him the "Ahmek J-stroke"), sent Justin, Alexandre (Sasha) and Michel (Mike) to Ahmek. Both Justin and Mike eventually became counsellors.
- Trudeau, Justin (October 17, 2014). "Justin Trudeau's memoir: 'My father was never the same man'". Toronto Star. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
- Larkin, Kathy (November 30, 1977). "Margaret Trudeau Says She Likes New Freedom". The Blade. KNS. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
- DePalma, Anthony (16 November 1998). "Pierre Trudeau's Youngest Son Believed Killed in Avalanche". New York Times. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
- Hall, Bob (21 July 2013). "Trudeau visits Nelson; plans Monday trip to Kokanee Lake". Nelson Star. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
Trudeau's eyes began to water when he spoke about his brother's final resting place. "If our brave men and women from search and rescue had ever recovered him, we would have probably incinerated him and sprinkled him back into the lake," Trudeau said.
- Hall, Bob (23 July 2013). "Trudeau Tweets Kokanee Lake visit". Nelson Star. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
- Wood, Chris. "Trudeau Search Suspended". Maclean's. The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
- "Search for body of Michel Trudeau postponed". CBC.ca. 10 November 2000. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
- Moore, Dene. "Trudeaus remember Michel and promote avalanche awareness". Canadian Press. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
- "Trudeau family help open Kokanee Glacier Cabin". CTV.ca. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
- "Newly discovered rose gives back to the BC community: Michel Trudeau Memorial Rose raises money for avalanche awareness". Gardenwise.ca, January 12, 2011.
- Michel Trudeau Rosebush. Canadian Avalanche Foundation.