Speeches That Changed Canada (Fall 2017)
Author and former MP Dennis Gruending has chosen dramatic speeches from 10 of Canada’s finest political orators, beginning with John A. Macdonald’s arguing Confederation into being in 1865 and ending with Pierre Trudeau’s ‘No’ to Quebec separatism during the 1980 referendum campaign. The book also contains Louis Riel’s speech to the jury; Wilfrid Laurier’s warning the Catholic clergy to stay out of politics; Nellie McClung’s demand that women receive the vote; Agnes Macphail’s call for both political reforms and the full equality of women; Arthur Meighen’s divisive speech on military conscription; Richard Bennet’s attempt to give Canada a new deal during the Depression; Tommy Douglas introducing Medicare; and Lester Pearson’s epic debates with John Diefenbaker over a new flag for Canada.
Dennis is the author of Great Canadian Speeches, a best-selling and wide-ranging anthology that contained 68 edited selections. In this new book he focuses on only 10 speeches, describing in detail the rich historical context in which each was delivered. Dennis also pays attention to both the content of each speech and rhetorical techniques employed by the orators. Finally, he examines every speech’s immediate and long term impact upon Canada and Canadians
Speeches That Changed Canada spans 130 years following Confederation and it will be relevant for decades to come. It will be a welcome companion to anyone interested in Canadian history, politics, literature and rhetoric. It will also be a useful source and guide for those who write speeches or deliver them, and for those who hear and compare them.
Pierre Trudeau opposing Quebec separatism:
“We are going to say to those who want us to stop being Canadians, we are going to say a resounding, an overwhelming No.”
To be published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside (1-800-387-9776),