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Confederation: Charlottetown 100 years later

In its first hundred years, geography was Canada's most obvious tie that binds. On almost all other issues, there was disagreement. Politicians debated problems of leadership, division of responsibilities, colonialism, autonomy, taxation, and more. CBC covered the constitutional debate from 1944 to 1964 as Canada struggled to make sense of its past and came closer than ever to finally bringing the Constitution home.

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"This nation will not weaken and dissolve," says a determined Prime Minister Pearson at the Charlottetown Conference anniversary. One hundred years ago, the Fathers of Confederation met in Prince Edward Island and initiated the first of three constitutional meetings that led to the birth of the country. But since its inception, an undercurrent of opposition has plagued the government. Today, the provinces continue to assert their autonomy but Pearson stresses the need for co-operation.
• In 1957, Lester Pearson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his unique proposal to send a United Nations peacekeeping mission into Egypt to maintain calm during the Suez Canal crisis. He is the only Canadian to have won this award. Pearson then served as prime minister from 1963 to 1968. He called for the 1963 Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. His Liberal government also established the Canada Pension Plan in 1965 and universal medicare in 1966.
Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Radio News Special
Broadcast Date: Sept. 1, 1964
Guest(s): Lester B. Pearson
Duration: 9:31
Photo: Natural Resources Canada

Last updated: July 15, 2014

Page consulted on July 15, 2014

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