Tuesday, August 14, 2007

To Be or Not To Be - Canadian (audio/video)

Supporters of The “One” Canada VISION

To Patriate the Constitution Without Weakening Canada


The Like of Meech Lake Accord and The Two Canadas

From: CBC (Audio/Video) Archives


Sir John A. Macdonald: Architect of Modern Canada (1815 – 1891)

Sir John A. Macdonald has been described as a pragmatic statesman, earning the title of Old Chieftain, and a procrastinating drunk with the nickname of Old Tomorrow. But there's no denying the legacy of Canada's first prime minister. He united the country with his national vision and the construction of the world's longest railway. Macdonald would overcome personal hurdles, albeit with the help of the bottle, to lay the foundation for modern Canada.

Sir John A., A Founder of Confederation & First Prime Minister (1867)
"1867 was a glorious combining of man's vision and energy, and practical common sense," says Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, with great admiration in his voice.” In 1856, Macdonald became the joint premier of Upper Canada, representing the Ontario side. Over the next few years, his co-premiers on the Quebec side would include Étienne-Paschal Taché and George-Étienne Cartier.

Nation-building: The Transcontinental Railroad
Before the House of Commons, Prime Minister John A. Macdonald makes the most ambitious of proposals, as heard in this CBC Radio re-enactment from 1978. A transcontinental railway, spanning the country from sea to sea, will unite the country and curb American encroachment, he pleads passionately. The project has a tight deadline and a $30 million budget but Macdonald is uncompromising in his vision. "Until this great work is complete, our dominion is little more than a geographical expression," he says definitively.

Sir Wilfred Laurier (1896-1911)


Realized 'national unity' was of paramount importance to Canada.

Liberals were defeated on free trade in 1911.

Laurier's dedication to Canadian unity took precedence over British traditionalism. Laurier held firm and would not allow Canadian autonomy to be compromised to Britain’s rule-over.

Created the Yukon Territory, 1898.

Settled the Alaska Boundary Dispute, 1903.

Constructed the second transcontinental railway in Canada, 1903.

Created the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta, 1905.

Formed the Department of Labour, 1900.

Formed the Department of External Affairs, 1909.

Naval Service Bill, 1910.


William Lyon Mackenzie King (1874-1950)

Mackenzie King followed the political path set by Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier in emphasizing national unity. With his cautious policies and shrewd political skills, he successfully led Canada for almost 22 years.

Mackenzie King’s Legacy

Old Age Pensions
Unemployment Insurance
Family Allowance
Proposals for Health Insurance

His wartime leadership kept the country together.

The Citizenship Act
The Diary of William Lyon Mackenzie King: A Real Companion and Friend

King was a very successful leader for Canada during the Second World War. He brought the country through the war without igniting further divisions between the French and English over the issue of conscription (mandatory military duty).

Canada's First Citizen (The Canadian Citizenship Act was enacted on June 27, 1946 and came into force Jan. 1, 1947.)
"I speak as a citizen of Canada," says Mackenzie King, and the audience applauds. He's speaking at the very first Canadian citizenship ceremony, at which King has been issued the very first Canadian citizenship certificate. Prior to this day in 1947, Canadians were simply British subjects living in Canada. Although his speech is rather formal, King's pleasure with this advancement in Canadian autonomy shines through. "Without citizenship, much else is meaningless," he says.

Monumental controversy
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and American President Franklin D. Roosevelt held a series of historic meetings in Quebec City in 1943 and 1944. Mackenzie King attended these conferences and acted as host. At these meetings, extremely important war strategies were established. The plans for D-Day — the allied invasion of Normandy that would mark the beginning of the end of the war — were first mapped out at the 1943 Quebec conference.


Louis Stephen St. Laurent: Uncle Louis (1882-1973)

St. Laurent Welcomes Newfoundland
First of many national milestones as Canada's prime minister - Newfoundland becomes Canada's 10th province (1948).
As NATO's chief proponent, his mission began as Canada's foreign minister, but it was as its leader that the vision would finally be realized.

Bridging the St. Lawrence: St. Lawrence Power Project
American and Canadian officials have been discussing joint hydro and canal developments for the upper St. Lawrence River since the 1930s. Connecting the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River and the Atlantic Ocean, the St. Lawrence Seaway will expand Canada's economic trade routes to the U.S – and beyond.

Trans-Canada Pipeline: Feat and fury
Hoping to meet the energy needs of Ontario and Quebec with the abundance of natural gas in Alberta, St. Laurent and his Minister of Trade and Commerce, C.D. Howe, propose the construction of a pipeline from Alberta to the St. Lawrence River. Howe's shining moment of May 1956, the ensuing debate and an emotion-laden dissent is captured in this clip. It is not hard to see why many believe the pipeline project proved St. Laurent and his Liberal party's undoing.


John G. Diefenbaker: Dief the Chief (1895-1979)

The Canadian Bill of Rights (1960): A decade before fulfilling his lifelong dream to enshrine in law a Canadian Bill of Rights, John Diefenbaker, the lawyer and Saskatchewan MP, tells a public forum why such a law is needed. A Bill of Rights is needed to take a "forthright stand against discrimination based on colour, creed or racial origin." http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-73-1599-10977/politics_economy/john_diefenbaker/clip5
It's John Diefenbaker day in Ottawa. The prime minister has just returned from London, England, where he stood up to apartheid South Africa. The racist state was applying to be re-admitted to the British Commonwealth after becoming a republic. Diefenbaker proposed that the country could only be welcomed back into the fold if it joined other states in condemning apartheid in principle. South Africa withdrew its application. http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-73-1599-10964/politics_economy/john_diefenbaker/clip6


Lester B. Pearson: From Peacemaker to Prime Minister (1897-1972)

Pearson's March 8, 1947, UN speech was titled "Canada in the Americas" and was an attempt to describe and debunk common misconceptions about Canada. The speech also served as an explanation for Canada's decision to not join the Pan-American Union; a precursor of the Organization of American States. The Globe and Mail praised it as a "most influential address" that "phrased his story of Canada and her international outlook in factual yet colourful terms."

U. N. International Police Force: Quick thinking during the 1956 Suez Crisis. His idea for an emergency United Nations force quells the budding war and leads to Canada's first Nobel Peace Prize nod. This October 1957 CBC Television clip covers the historic announcement and records Pearson's response. http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-73-1265-7649/politics_economy/lester_b_pearson/clip3 The crisis in the Suez developed after Egypt took control of the Suez Canal, a vital shipping link between the Middle East and Europe, from combined British and French interests in October 1956.
'Too intelligent for politics'
On Dec. 14, 1967, Lester B. Pearson tells his surprised cabinet colleagues that he is retiring from politics. The decision comes as a shock to most, coming at the end of a wildly successful year of Centennial celebrations. This CBC Radio clip looks back at his strengths and weaknesses during his 20-year tenure in politics.


Pierre Elliott Trudeau (1919-2000)

Canada's prime minister for about 15 years.
He successfully defeated the separatist movement in Quebec and led Canada both to greater strength nationally and to more independence.
Omnibus Bill C-150 (CBC 1967)
Trudeau, “there’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” … “what’s done in private between adults doesn’t concern the Criminal Code.”

One Canada, deux langues (1968)
July 1969 that Canada — despite outcries from the west — finally recognized both French and English as official languages in the federal government. In this CBC Television clip, government leaders agree that the Official Languages Act is the right thing for Canada.

Challenging Canada’s ‘sacred cows’ (CBC 1968)
Women didn’t receive ‘abortion on demand’ until 1988 (as unconstitutional because it infringed upon a woman’s right to “life, liberty and security of person.).

Bringing Home the Constitution (CBC 1982)
Trudeau had been talking about “patriating” Canada’s Constitution and creating a constitutional declaration of rights since before he first became prime minister.

Back to tackle Meech Lake (CBC 1987)
Prime Minister Brian Mulroney is a "weakling," the premiers are a pack of "snivellers," and the Meech Lake accord will bring nothing but dark days for Canada. Concessions have been made, he says, that will render Canada "totally impotent." Trudeau defends his comments in this Morningside interview. "Those Canadians who fought for a single Canada, bilingual and multicultural, can say goodbye to their dream. We are henceforth to have two Canada's, each defined in terms of its language," Trudeau wrote in his May 27, 1987, opinion piece.


Jean Chretien: From Pool Hall to Parliament Hill (1934 - )

“We won’t give an inch!”
The ball is in Ottawa's court. The fate of a country is at stake. The Parti Québécois has announced that the upcoming referendum will be on sovereignty association. And that sets the stage for an independent Quebec retaining only economic ties to Canada. Answering for the federalist forces in this radio clip from Don Harron's Morningside, Justice Minister Jean Chrétien declares: "We won't give an inch!" Chrétien, along with Quebec Liberal leader Claude Ryan, spent the next six months giving speech after speech in Quebec, proclaiming the benefits of a united Canada. On May 20, 1980, 59.5 per cent of Quebec voters said "Non" to negotiations for sovereignty association while 40.5 per cent voted "Oui." Voter turnout was 84.3 per cent. The result was seen as a clear victory for Chrétien.

Separation Anxiety: The 1995 Quebec Referendum
A Choreographed Parting Shot
The sponsorship program was conceived in 1996 after the "No" side narrowly defeated the separatists in the 1995 Quebec Referendum. The Public Works Department was responsible for the pro-federalism advertising campaign to boost its profile in Quebec.
On Feb. 8, 2005, former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien sits on the witness stand, tersely answering questions about the mishandling of millions of dollars as part of the sponsorship program (Sponsorship scandal: Breaking all the rules
http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-73-1700-11687/politics_economy/political_scandals/ ), an initiative implemented during his reign. Chrétien defends the program, saying it was necessary to protect federalism in Quebec after the 1995 referendum. Throughout his testimony, he remains unapologetic maintaining he knew nothing about the program's mismanagement, as seen in this TV report. Then Chrétien pulls out some golf balls.

  • improvement in Canadian economy, including eliminating deficit and a budget surplus for five straight years
  • passed Clarity Bill (1999) saying Quebec can only separate after a solid majority votes "yes" on a clear question.
  • active social agenda included Child Tax Benefit
  • ratified Kyoto Protocol
  • worked for global ban on land mines
  • pushed for establishment of International Criminal Court
  • supported war on terrorism (2003), but would not send troops to Iraq without UN resolution for military action.

No comments: