“Zap you’re frozen!”

Line used by Pierre Trudeau in the 1974 general election1 to mock federal Progressive Conservative Leader Robert Stanfield’s2 proposal for wage and price controls to combat inflation.

Like many good campaign lines it worked because it was pithy and fun. However, its lasting fame came when, less than 18 months later, Trudeau (who regained a majority in the election) reversed his opposition, and imposed wage and price controls of his own.

“Zap you’re frozen!” became an epithet endlessly hurled at his government through the balance of the term, to attack the flip-flop and, often, imply a more fundamental political dishonesty.

Image Credit: Jack Dalgleish, The Windsor Star


  1. Majority victory for Trudeau in '74. CBC Digital Archives.
  2. Robert Stanfield wins PC leadership. Sep 9, 1967. CBC Digital Archives.

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