Speeches That Changed Canada, history from the podium

In Speeches That Changed Canada author and former MP Dennis Gruending has created a book that will be of interest to anyone who loves Canadian history, politics, literature and rhetoric. The book, released in April 2018 by Fitzhenry and Whiteside, will also be useful as a source and guide for teachers and students, and for... Continue Reading →

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Aaron Sapiro, Prairie wheat pools, August 1923

By the early 1900s Western Canadian farmers believed they were being exploited by private grain companies. Aaron Sapiro, an American lawyer from California, had helped to set up marketing cooperatives among farmers in the US.  In 1923, he did a speaking tour in the Prairies promoting cooperatives as a vehicle for farmers to buy and... Continue Reading →

Wilfrid Laurier, Canada’s century, 1904

Wilfrid  Laurier was campaigning for reelection when he made the following speech before a packed house in Toronto’s Massey Hall on 14 October 1904. The speech, while not one of his best, was vintage Laurier -- suave, playing to the audience, and discreetly undermining his political opponents. Near its end, he provided his grand vision... Continue Reading →

Dr. Norman Bethune, Spanish civil war, 1937

Dr. Norman Bethune left his medical practice in Montreal in 1936 to join the Republican forces fighting the fascists under General Franco in Spain. There Dr. Bethune pioneered a portable blood transfusion unit that was used at or near the front and it saved thousands of lives. In 1937, he was asked by the Republicans... Continue Reading →

Thomas Homer-Dixon, system failure, 2002

Thomas Homer-Dixon is a professor in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. His research, writing and speaking is focused on threats to global security including economic instability, climate change, and energy scarcity. He believes that human society and ecological systems are under multiple stresses occurring at a rate that is too... Continue Reading →

Richard Bedford Bennett, Great Depression, 1935

In January 1935 Prime Minister Richard Bedford Bennett delivered a series of dramatic radio addresses to the nation while Canada was in the grip of the Great Depression. Bennett had been staunchly conservative and anti-interventionist, but the country was in deep trouble. Bennett’s brother-in-law, W. D. Herridge, convinced him that he should follow the lead... Continue Reading →

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