Thomas D’Arcy McGee, a Canadian nationality, 1862

Thomas D’Arcy McGee was one of the great pre-Confederation orators. This speech, urging the creation of a new Canadian nationality, was delivered three years prior to conferences in Charlottetown and Quebec City, which negotiated the details of Confederation. McGee came to Canada from Ireland via New York and settled in Montreal where he was a newspaper editor... Continue Reading →

Romeo Saganash on Indigenous rights, 2017

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted in 2007. Its recurring theme is that Indigenous peoples have the right to dignity and self-determination, and that no actions regarding their persons or lands should be taken without their “free, prior and informed consent.” Canada became a signatory in 2014, but the... Continue Reading →

Monique Bégin on patriarchy, 2017

Maclean’s magazine hosted its annual Parliamentarians of the Year Award in Ottawa early in November 2017. The magazine presented a lifetime achievement award to Monique Bégin, who served as an influential cabinet minister in Pierre Trudeau’s governments, most notably as the minister of health and welfare. After leaving politics in 1984, Bégin pursued an academic career, including... Continue Reading →

Arthur Meighen on military conscription, 1917

In 1917, there was a divisive debate in Canada over military compulsory conscription. It was led by Conservative cabinet minister Arthur Meighen, who had drafted the legislation. That bill became the centrepiece of  the bitterly contested "khaki election" which occurred in December 1917. The Conservatives won the election but divided the  country. Brilliant, opinionated, and... Continue Reading →

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