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Diefenbaker: A True Leader Essay

1012 words - 5 pages

It takes many generations for any single country to evolve from its earliest state into what would be considered a "developed" nation. The changes that take place within the country are generally attributed to a small number of visionary individuals. Many people can be accredited for contributing to the progression of Canada. John G. Diefenbaker, conceivably the single most influential person in the history of Canada, played a crucial role in the development of the country, to what it is today. Diefenbaker's work resulted in the redefining of Canada's cultural identity, the creation of major bills and policies within government legislation as well as developing a stance on foreign affairs ...view middle of the document...

Diefenbaker also played a big part of getting free health care; in 1961 the Royal Commission on Health Services was created, it studied and reported on the health care needs of Canadians. The following year, the Government of Saskatchewan offered free access to physician services to all of its citizens. Diefenbaker set many bills, polices and acts into action but he was also vital in redefining Canada's culture identity.

Diefenbaker played a crucial role in redefining Canada's cultural identity. He was the first prime minister to think of Canada not only as English and French but to include other nationalities and races into the country's culture identity. Diefenbaker was a proud citizen of Canada, not only that, he was one of the first Prime Ministers in Canada to not be of English or French background. Diefenbaker approved of all of the culture in Canada and wanted to make a House of Commons that was truly multi-cultural, this is evident in the following excerpt from a speech.

"I am the first prime minister of this country of neither altogether English or French origin. So I determined to bring about a Canadian citizenship that knew no hyphenated consideration.... I'm very happy to be able to say that in the House of Commons today in my party we have members of Italian, Dutch, German, Scandinavian, Chinese and Ukrainian origin - and they are all Canadians."

After this speech Diefenbaker kept his word by choosing the first ever aboriginal senator, James Gladstone. Diefenbaker also chose the first ever French Governor General, Georges Vanier. He was truly a man of the people he even fought for the right for aboriginal peoples to vote in the election and also fought for the right of the Indians and he also fought for the rights of people outside of the country of Canada. Diefenbaker not only cared about what went on in Canada he also reached out to other...

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