Nelson Mandela thanks Canada, 1998

Nelson Mandela In February 1990, Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years in a South African prison. He was later to become president of that nation. He is also one of only five people ever to have been granted honourary Canadian citizenship. He first addressed the Canadian Parliament in 1990, not long after his release... Continue Reading →

Muriel Kitagawa on Japanese internment, 1945

Muriel Kitagawa During the second World War, the government considered Canadians of Japanese origin to be security risks. Beginning in 1942, the government forcibly moved 22,000 men, women and children away from coastal areas in British Columbia and interned them in camps in the interior. The Japanese had few public defenders as wartime opinion formed... Continue Reading →

Moses Coady on economic equality, 1950

Rev. Moses Coady Moses Coady was a Roman Catholic priest who was born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and lived there for most of his life. Coady taught at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish and chaired its department of extension. He was fervent believer in using adult education to encourage people to improve their... Continue Reading →

William Aberhart on Social Credit, 1934

William Aberhart The Great Depression dealt a cruel blow to Canada’s prairie provinces, which suffered a prolonged drought at the same time. Desperation led to agitation and a search for alternatives to the traditional parties. In Alberta, William Aberhart embraced the theories of social credit and used his radio show to promote the doctrine. In... Continue Reading →

Shirley Carr on unions, 1986

Shirley Carr, CLC 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,... Continue Reading →

Jacques Parizeau, Quebec referendum, 1995

Jacques Parizeau, Quebec referendum Early in the 1995 referendum campaign on Quebec sovereignty, it appeared that the federalist NO side would win easily. But on October 30, the NO side won by a razor thin majority with 50.6 per cent of the vote. Premier Jacque Parizeau created controversy in his concession speech by blaming the... Continue Reading →

Jean Chretien, Quebec referendum, 1995

The Parti Quebecois called a sovereignty referendum for October 1995, and polls indicated the PQ might win. Belatedly, Prime Minister Jean Chretien joined the fray, and on October 25 he made this televised address to Canadians. He played on love of country, and the serious economic consequences for Quebec if it chose to separate. Prime... Continue Reading →

Pierre Trudeau, October crisis, 1970

In October 1970, the Front de Libération du Quebec, a separatist group, kidnapped Pierre Laporte, the province’s labour minister, and James Cross, a British diplomat. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act. On 16 October 1970, a sombre Trudeau appeared on national television to explain and defend his decision to citizens of the... Continue Reading →

Mary Eberts, Persons Case anniversary, 1990

Mary Eberts, the Persons Case. Lawyer and legal scholar Mary Eberts was a founder of LEAF ( Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund). The organization was created in 1985 to ensure Canadian courts protect the equality provisions Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. LEAF has often appeared in courts to advance equality for women and... Continue Reading →

Paul Martin, hell or high water budget 1995

Paul Martin became the Liberal government's finance minister in 1993 and was soon convinced that Canada’s deficit and debt were unmanageable. On February 27, 1995, he introduced a budget that chopped social programs, unemployment insurance, and transfers to the provinces for health care, education, and social assistance. The battle for public opinion was fierce. Martin... Continue Reading →

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