In this new book author and former MP Dennis Gruending has chosen dramatic speeches from 11 of Canada’s finest political orators, beginning with John A. Macdonald arguing Confederation into being in 1865, and ending with Pierre Trudeau’s ‘No’ to Quebec separatism during the 1980 referendum campaign. The book also contains Louis Riel’s speech to the jury; Wilfrid Laurier’s warning the Catholic clergy to stay out of politics; Nellie McClung’s demand that women receive the vote; Agnes Macphail’s call for political reforms and the full equality of women; Arthur Meighen’s divisive speech on military conscription; Richard Bennett’s attempt to give Canada a new deal during the Depression; Tommy Douglas introducing Medicare; Lester Pearson’s epic debates with John Diefenbaker over a new flag for Canada; and Chief Joseph Gosnell’s powerful address in favour of the Nisga’a Treaty.
Dennis is also the author of Great Canadian Speeches, a best-selling and wide-ranging anthology. But in this new book he focuses on only a few speeches and describes the rich historical context in which each was delivered. He also pays attention to the content of each oration and the rhetorical techniques employed by speakers to win over their audiences. Finally, Dennis examines every speech’s immediate and long term impact upon Canada and Canadians
Speeches That Changed Canada spans 130 years following Confederation and it will be a welcome companion to anyone interested in Canadian history, politics, literature and rhetoric. It will also be a useful source and guide for those who write speeches or deliver them, and for those who hear, analyze and compare them.
Pierre Trudeau opposing Quebec separatism:
“We are going to say to those who want us to stop being Canadians, we are going to say a resounding, an overwhelming No.”
To be published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside (1-800-387-9776),