John A. Macdonald, yes to Confederation, 1865

In 1864, the colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland planned to meet in Charlottetown to investigate a union among the British Maritime colonies. John A Macdonald and other representatives from Upper and Lower Canada invited themselves to the meeting and arrived by steamship. They proposed a wider union which would include... Continue Reading →

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 →

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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