In recognition of Canada’s 150th anniversary as a political entity, I begin a series of Canadiana blogs this summer, including a few top ten lists! So let’s begin with politics:

My Top Ten Canadian Politicians [Yes, there are some!]

    1. Tommy Douglas: My favourite by a southern Saskatchewan mile and voted greatest Canadian in a CBC poll a few years ago. I agree with the poll. A small-town Baptist preacher who became the father of universal health care, a true servant of the people.
    2. Lester B. Pierson: Although he only had a minority government, he introduced universal health care, student loans, the Canada Pension Plan, the Order of Canada, the Maple Leaf flag, bilingualism and biculturalism, kept Canada out of the Vietnam War, abolished capital punishment, and won the Nobel Peace prize.
    3. Louis Riel: Read some of my other blogs and you’ll know why. The Canadian government of 1885 killed him and the government more than a century later needs to exonerate him. https://you.leadnow.ca/petitions/exonerate-louis-riel-2
    4. Nellie McClung: Also see previous posts.
    5. Bill Blaikie: He was the faithful M.P. in Transcona [Winnipeg] for 30 years. We lived in his riding for 6 years and he even accepted an invitation to talk to our church youth group about faith and politics, about which he later wrote a fine book.
    6. Joe Clarke: He always seemed awkward publicly and only served as PM for a few months but he was a solid and respected international diplomat in later governments.
    7. Jack Layton: A true social democrat who spoke out on behalf of the marginalized and brought new energy to his party and to federal politics, all while fighting a personal battle with cancer.
    8. Agnes McPhail: The first woman to be elected to Canadian parliament.
    9. Wilfred Laurier and
    10. William Lyon Mackenzie King for being the longest serving PM’s. Anyone who sacrifices decades of life to public service leading a democratic nation has my admiration.

 

Notice that John A. Macdonald is not on the list. I will tell you why on the next post.

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