Michel Trudeau was the younger brother of current Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the youngest child of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. In the Trudeau family, he was known by the nickname Miche, as he was born in Ontario, Canada. Fidel Castro gave him this name while the Trudeau family was on a trip to Cuba when Michel was four months old. His family, on the other hand, referred to him as Mike. Michel worked as a camp counselor in the Algonquin Provincial Park for a while before going to college to study microbiology. His life, however, came to a terrible end at the age of 23, when he was killed by an avalanche while backcountry skiing in the Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park. The body was never located, and the family was forced to call off the search missions later.
Early life and childhood
Michel Trudeau was born on October 2, 1975, at the Ottawa Civic Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. His paternal grandfather was the inspiration for his name. Pierre Trudeau and Margaret Trudeau had three kids, and he was the youngest of the three.
Michel was visited by former Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro when he was four months old, while his parents were on a trip to Cuba. Miche was Castro’s nickname for him. According to his mother, Michel was always the most ‘loving and adventurous’ of all her children.
Michel moved from Ottawa to Montreal, where he completed his early schooling, after Pierre left politics for permanently in 1984. Michel, an adventure junkie, has always enjoyed adventure sports, and his summer vacations were spent at summer camps more frequently than not.
He preferred being around nature and was unconcerned about other aspects of his life, such as academics. Despite this, he was a bright student who was constantly in the teachers’ good graces.
Justin, Alexandre, and Michel Trudeau would spend their summers at the camps, usually at Camp Ahmek in Algonquin Provincial Park. Michel eventually went on to work as a camp counsellor there, a job he enjoyed since it allowed him to further explore his wild side, and he had always enjoyed being in close proximity to nature.
His desire to become a microbiologist led him to Dalhousie University, but camping and adventure sports never left him, and he continued to visit the locations he loved in the arms of Mother Nature whenever he had the opportunity.
Michel and the Avalanche
Michel had recently begun working at a Mountain Resort in Rossland, British Columbia, but his adventures with his friends had become a part of his life, and he would go on trips with them whenever he had the opportunity.
Michel went skiing with three buddies on one of these trips, this time in the Kokanee Glacier Park on November 13, 1998. All four of them were having the time of their lives until an avalanche formed, which, being the brutal force of nature that it is, took Michel away from his pals and deposited him in the frigid Kokanee Lake.
Michel tried his hardest to reach the shore, but the frigid lake wouldn’t allow him give it his all, and he eventually gave up after much difficulty.
Michel drowned in the water after his buddies were unable to save him. Another of his pals was swept into the lake, but he was able to swim to safety.
When the Trudeau family learned of it, they were devastated, and an intensive search was launched to find the corpse. However, due to the incredibly high altitude of the terrain and the few days of open water into the frozen lake, all attempts were futile.
The Trudeau family called off their hunt for Michel a year later, accepting with aching hearts that Michel was no longer with them.
Following The Death
Michel Trudeau’s memorial service was held in Quebec on November 20, 1998, and was attended by close family members and friends.
His buddies, who were rescued by the choppers after the event, were present at the memorial service and praised him for his bravery throughout their time together. One of the friends observed, “He was a risk-taker, the bravest of us all.”
The Trudeau family lost their youngest son, who was known for taking calculated risks. Justin Trudeau, his brother and Canada’s current Prime Minister, said he didn’t believe it at first when he got the word about his death, but he was crushed when he learned that his little brother had died in an avalanche.
When asked about his brother during the interviews, he stated he was a brave man who would have attempted to endure till his last breath.
Michel acquired the best features of both his elder brothers, according to his mother Margaret, who recalls that Michel was typically a very happy and well-balanced young man who had his goals in life sorted. Two years later, when Michel’s father, Pierre, died, the family suffered yet another major loss.
Justin continued to remember his brother, saying that around a year ago, the two brothers were watching a program on burials when Michel joked that if he died in the mountains, he should be buried there and never be taken out.
‘He had a large circle of friends,’ said his brother, adding that no one would guess he was the son of a former Canadian Prime Minister because he was such a down to earth person.
Legacy of Michel Trudeau
Once the search operations were formally called off, a cabin near the lake where Michel died was turned into a memorial.
Donations to the Canadian Avalanche Foundation come from the selling of a rare rose named after Michel.
Estimated Net Worth
Michel Trudeau is one of the wealthiest and most popular members of the Trudeau family. Michel Trudeau’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million.