Irene Parlby, agrarian populism, 1921

Following the First World War, drought, low prices, and a general distrust of old line politicians gave rise to agrarian populist parties. They were anti-politician, agitating against rigid party discipline and patronage. They argued against protective tariffs, which they believed pampered Canadian industries, and in favour of free trade, which they said would benefit farmers.... Continue Reading →

Shirley Carr on unions, 1986

Shirley Carr was the first woman to lead the Canadian Labour Congress. She could be blunt,as indicated in this speech made to a Canadian Club audience in 1986, shortly after her becoming CLC president. Employers and governments, she said, must recognize that unions are legitimate representatives of the interests of working people, and should be... Continue Reading →

Chrystia Freeland on trade and democracy, June 2018

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland was named “diplomat of the year” at a forum hosted by the Washington, D.C.-based Foreign Policy magazine in June 2018. In her acceptance speech, Freeland talked about both the strengths of democratic societies and the threats to them. She also defended a globalized, free-trade order against the protectionist measures being taken... Continue Reading →

Goldwin Smith on Canada’s joining the U.S., 1888

U.S. President Donald Trump has imposed tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminium and is threatening to do the same on automobiles. He has attacked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as weak, dishonest and worse. Back in the 1880s, Professor Goldwin Smith of Toronto acted as a self-appointed proponent of Canada's full commercial and political union with the... Continue Reading →

Bob White on free trade, February 1988

Free trade is a timely topic in 2017 as Canada renegotiates NAFTA with the United States and Mexico. Back in 1998, Bob White was prominent ilabour leader in a citizens’ movement opposing the Free Trade Agreement with the United States.  White made this speech to the convention of the United Fisherman and Allied Workers Union in... Continue Reading →

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