Pearson tells nation he seeks to clarify confidence in 1968
Nationally broadcast addresses from Canadian prime ministers are a rare occurrence. They usually happen only during times of war, constitutional or political crisis. The CBC Digital Archives presents some of the most significant historic addresses by Canada's prime ministers from 1939 to 2008.
In a statement to Canadians that evening, Pearson says he plans to put a motion before Parliament that "will be clearly and without doubt one of confidence or non-confidence in the government." If the motion carries, government business will continue. If it is defeated, the government will resign and there will be a federal election - although, Pearson adds, "I can think of many things the country needs more at the present time than a general election."
• The confidence vote Pearson promised took place the following week. As expected the Liberals triumphed, winning 138 votes to 119 (with three abstentions).
• For more about Lester B. Pearson, see the CBC Digital Archives topic Lester B. Pearson: From Peacemaker to Prime Minister. • According to the Globe and Mail, cameras "swarmed all over the Parliament buildings, penetrating many areas where formerly they have been forbidden." The article went on to predict that it would not be long before cameras were permitted in the chamber. It took another nine years before proceedings in Parliament were regularly broadcast.
Program: CBC Television News Special
Broadcast Date: Feb. 20, 1968
Guest(s): Lester B. Pearson
Last updated: October 22, 2014
Page consulted on October 22, 2014
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