Trudeau said he was willing to fight during World War II, but he believed that to do so would be to turn his back on the population of Quebec that he believed had been betrayed by the government of William Lyon Mackenzie King.Trudeau reflected on his opposition to conscription and his doubts about the war in his Memoirs (1993): "So there was a war? if you were a French Canadian in Montreal in the early 1940s, you did not automatically believe that this was a just war ...
Trudeau's father died when Pierre was 15 years old.This death hit him and the family very hard emotionally.In the 1960s he entered federal politics by joining the Liberal Party of Canada. Pearson's Parliamentary Secretary and later became his Minister of Justice.Trudeau became a media sensation, inspiring "Trudeaumania", and took charge of the Liberals in 1968.His progressive values and his close ties with Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) intellectuals (including F. Scott, Eugene Forsey, Michael Kelway Oliver and Charles Taylor) led to his support of and membership in that federal democratic socialist party throughout the 1950s.
Despite these connections, when Trudeau entered federal politics in the 1960s he decided to join the Liberal Party of Canada rather than the CCF's successor, the New Democratic Party (NDP).
When conscripted, he decided to join the Canadian Officers' Training Corps, and he then served with the other conscripts in Canada, since they were not assigned to overseas military service until after the Conscription Crisis of 1944 after the Invasion of Normandy that June.
Before this, all Canadians serving overseas were volunteers, and not conscripts.
The family had become quite wealthy by the time Trudeau was in his teens, as his father sold his prosperous gas station business to Imperial Oil.
Trudeau attended the prestigious Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf (a private French Jesuit school), where he supported Quebec nationalism.
Finally, he enrolled for a doctorate at the London School of Economics, but did not finish his dissertation.