List of Canadian heroes sent to Tories features Liberal, NDP icons

Online poll produced only one discernible Conservative as Canada turns 150 in 2017


OTTAWA – Canadians have handed the Harper government a Top 10 list of the country’s greatest heroes, featuring some of the Conservative party’s greatest adversaries, past and present.

The list, compiled from online consultations in the run-up to Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, includes Pierre Trudeau, Jack Layton, David Suzuki and Lester B. Pearson.

About 12,000 Canadians participated in the online exercise, which began Dec. 11 and closed last month.

A five-part digital form included the question: Which Canadians have inspired you the most over the last 150 years?

The Canadian Heritage Department extracted a Top 10 list for an April 29 briefing note for the minister, Shelly Glover.

Only one clearly identifiable Conservative appears: Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, in eighth place.

The list was topped by former Liberal prime minister Pierre Trudeau, followed by marathon-of-hope runner Terry Fox; NDP leader Tommy Douglas; former Liberal prime minister Lester B. Pearson; astronaut Chris Hadfield; environmental activist David Suzuki; NDP leader Jack Layton; Sir. John A.; hockey legend Wayne Gretzky; and Romeo Dallaire, the soldier and Liberal senator who recently announced his resignation.

The consultation also asked which of Canada’s accomplishments of the last 150 years “make you most proud to be a Canadian?”

Medicare topped that list, followed by peacekeeping, then the 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms at No. 3.

The Conservative government, which has recently been buffeted by a series of Charter-based losses at the Supreme Court of Canada, did not mark the 25th anniversary of the Charter in 2007, nor the 30th in 2012.

The rest of the accomplishments list, in order: contribution to the Second World War; the Canadarm; multiculturalism; contribution to the First World War; bilingualism; space exploration; and the Constitution Act of 1982.

The briefing note and related documents were obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

Glover said the exercise was simply to consult Canadians about how to celebrate 2017, adding “we have no intention of making a kind of final list.”

“Every community is going to have their own personal list. … We will not be telling people whom they ought to be celebrating.”

“The consultations were not partisan in any way shape or form,” she said in an interview from her Winnipeg riding, noting for example that many Canadians do not regard Tommy Douglas as a New Democrat politician but simply as the father of medicare.

The government has yet to announce its budget and “overall theme and focus” for the 2017 celebrations. Glover would not provide a timeline.

But she said all events will be planned in partnership with provinces, communities and the private sector, include sharing costs.

A spokeswoman for Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Kate Purchase, declined comment on the high position of his father on the Top 10 list of heroes.

The briefing note warns the results of the online consultations cannot be viewed as representative of the entire population, because participants self-selected.

In the end, the exercise identified more than 1,100 “inspirational” Canadians and more than 600 accomplishments.

In February, Canadian Heritage took a sample of 1,540 responses from the first 5,000 questionnaires filed, adjusting them to be regionally balanced based on population, and then produced the Top 10 lists.

The early sample was taken “so the results would not be skewed by publicity surrounding the Sochi Olympic Winter Games.”

Cabinet ministers have also held at least 20 roundtables since December, asking participants the same questions about heroes and accomplishments. Those Top 10 lists looked very similar to those of the online survey — though there, Sir John A. did not make the grade.

A House of Commons committee in September 2012 pressed the government to start planning for the 150th birthday celebrations “as soon as possible,” noting the planning for Canada’s 1967 Centennial bash took eight years, launched by Progressive Conservative prime minister John Diefenbaker.

The 1967 celebrations cost about $750 million in today’s dollars.

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List of Canadian heroes sent to Tories features Liberal, NDP icons

  1. Everything and everyone Harper hates, mainstream Canada cherishes. Harper is radically anti-Canadian, a de facto foreigner republican installed through vote suppression and media bias.

    As you have just seen in Ontario, these foreign anti-Canadian Tea Party invaders are not of us.

    We know who we are, proudly and confidently.

  2. If you asked Canadians those questions at any time you would get much the same answers.

    Like it or not, that’s who we are. That’s our ‘culture’

    Not American, not British….Canadian. It’s quite distinct.

    I don’t know why Cons think they’re going to be able to change it.

  3. “The consultations were not partisan in any way shape or form,” she said…

    But you can bet that – if the CPC are still in charge in 2017 (hopefully not) that the celebrations will be…

  4. Dear Leader is going to be pretty upset that somebody didn’t get this survey set up to get the right result, and a plan to bury it if it still didn’t turn out.

  5. The briefing note warns the results of the online consultations cannot be viewed as representative of the entire population, because participants self-selected.

    • That was a vote in itself Billy Bob

      And much the same as the Dominion list published for July 1

    • Which of course, according to Glover renders the results useless. So what was the point of conducting the survey and wasting the participants time, Billy Bob?

    • Wow. You know things are bad when Harper’s minions cannot be bothered to freep the polls anymore.

    • You leftwingnutz realize that sentence I posted here is from the article?

      Self selecting=leftwing masturbation.

      That poll is fit only for lining a bird cage.

      • WE know where it’s from….you appear to have lost the plot altogether.

      • No kidding! So what was the point of the Harperites conducting the survey?

  6. Shame on the Canadian Press for spoiling the Harperite game by exposing the results of the survey. This was just an exercise in futility to give Canadians the impression that they had had the opportunity to participate in choosing the “heroes” to be celebrated in 2017. Had it not been made public, at some point the Heritage Minister would have come out with their list, said that 11,000 Canadians were surveyed and these were the results. No one, including the participants would have known the difference.

    This is so typical of the Con half truths and lies to back up their ideologically driven agenda. For example: We consulted with the provinces over the changes to EI. Canadians have complained about the mandatory long form census. Stats Canada agrees with the changes to census taking. We consulted with Elections Canada over the Fair Elections Act. The Liberal and NDP members of the committee didn’t mention there was an issue with the Marc Nadon appointment to the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court lobbied against the Nadon appointment.

  7. …the HoC “committee in September 2012 pressed the government to start planning for the 150th birthday celebrations ” ASAP…

    Since none of the CONs were even on this 150-year list, (except for Sir John A), hissy-fit little Harper & Co., will not even bother to put a “dime” into this. -these so-called present-day “Tories”, are not even Canadian anymore ?! -they are just lobbyist schills’, looking out for their own interests.

    • Were Banting & Best on the list? How about other Canadians who made real contributions to science and healthcare? Come now surely we already decided who the real Canadian hero’s are in a contest a few years ago when Tommy Douglas came first for his contribution to free healthcare and Terry Fox came 2nd for his incredible contribution to cancer awareness and funding. There was a reason Pierre Trudeau did not come first then. Partisan politics have no place in these contests.

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