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Canada's prime ministers: A day of honor

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  Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006

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Have your say - responses, Jan. 24

Here is what some globeandmail.com visitors had to say about who their favorite prime minister is and why. You can find links to other responses at the bottom.

To add your opinion, go to our submissions page.


My favourite Prime Minister is Pierre Elliot-Trudeau. He represented Canada abroad as a country with international flair and good taste. This is not to say that he did not have his faults, we all remember the famous finger to you Canadians, but he knew how to play the political game. I, like most Canadians, have come to this great and wonderful country from another part of the world and I must say that I am very proud to be called Canadian. In order to appreciate what we have in Canada all you need to do is go to any other country, including the U.S., and you will come back here feeling very lucky and honoured to be allowed to be a Canadian. This country was built by immigrants and it should be a day dedicated to all Canadian who make this country what it is today. This is the only country in the world where so many people from diverse backgrounds are able to live in work side by side peacefully. Therefore, I propose a holiday named after all of us 'Canadians' Day'.
Amy Picciottoli

Pierre Trudeau - he made sense and cared passionately about Canada.
Elizabeth Duncan

I want to comment on having a national holiday to celebrate the birthday of one of our Prime Ministers of Canada. I believe that Sir John A. Macdonald had a birthday in January which would be a good time to have a holiday since he was our very first Prime Minister. As to my favourite Prime Minister, I can't say that I have a favourite. I can tell you the one that I definitely did not like and that was Brian Mulroney.
Joyce Power

I cannot believe that people are voting against this idea. 1. Canadians have far less vacation time than most other industrialized nations and we're programmed to accept this - nobody ever, ever questions this. Go to the federal government website and check out the official laws regarding vacation entitlements and then go searching for what most of Europe gets. I've read hilarious comments about us having enough holidays and that we don't need another "unproductive wage expense". Yeesh. Are we here just to work, retire and then die? That's ridiculous. 2. I don't care who's honoured or remembered - we should have one national day off every month. Why? Because life is not just about work. What is it with Canadians that we don't feel entitled to anything that could improve the quality of our lives? 3. Rather than make it a beauty contest, it should just be a general Prime Minister's day. The debates will rage about who was great and who was awful regardless. 4. This has nothing to do with imitating the U.S. Look in your day-timer. Every other day is a national holiday somewhere honouring someone or something historic. 5. Remembrance Day should be a national holiday. 6. Whatever month doesn't have a national day off should have one assigned to it. The average Canadian would appreciate the time to enjoy life with family, friends, whatever. Is this lazy or selfish? No. It's about reclaiming some of the time we're on earth for us away from work. And there's nothing wrong with that.
Ian Kiar

Yes we need to honor past leaders maybe we can make another long weekend.
Tony Young

[My favourit PM is] John A.Macdonald, because if cars existed when he was in power, the TransCanada Highway would be 4 lanes wide.
Cal

I've just read some of the comments by others. It's so typical of Canadians to show lack of loyalty to their homeland… CANADA. Maybe if we Canadians showed our patriotism for Canada we'd be a far superior country than our neighbour to the south. Now on a sour note. I can't believe anyone thought that Diefenbaker was any good as a Prime Minister. He started the outrageous debt. He destroyed the Arrow - our pride and joy. I still remember hearing the Arrow breaking the sound bearer. It gave you quite a jolt. How the Americans played him. Can you imagine what we could have accomplished? Yes, how quickly we forget his fumbling. I was just a young girl when he was in power but old enough to read the newspaper to come to the conclusion...... that he was an idiot.
Luisa

I think it would be a great idea to have this day. Our Prime Ministers need to be recognized for their achievements instead of remembered for all the negative issues that clouded their terms.
Joanna Rogowska

As a small business owner I completely support a new public holiday in February.
Carrie Sager

Pierre Trudeau was the most charismatic and interesting prime minister. He did things in a more flamboyant and unstilted way.
Rosaline

My favourite Canadian Prime Minister is Pierre Trudeau. I admired him for his intelligence, his foresight, and his ideal of one Canada for all. He worked to join the English and French to promote one society, one Canada for all Canadians. That said, I voted for Sir John A. Macdonald as our first Prime Minister to honour on a new holiday. However, where did the idea come from to only honour "dead" Prime Ministers? If anything, it should be a day to honour our first Prime Minister such as the U.S. does for their first President. It seems silly to rotate the "dead" Prime Ministers every year, eventually coming back to the beginning. It is trivializing the meaning of honouring a Prime Minister and I think that many people believe also that honouring our first would be much more appropriate. Who would take it upon themselves to decide something this important for all Canadians? I am appalled!
Linda D'Adamo

Yes I think we should have Canadian Prime Ministers' Day. It's no wonder the Americans make fun of us. We don't even think the leader of our country is important enough that we should have a whole day off of work.
Rachel Palmer

My favourite is and should be Sir John A. Macdonald, the father of Confederation. I think that is a good idea to remember dead Prime Ministers however when time will(one day) come to Mr. Mulroney and Mr. Chretien...ouch. More-so... I think our heroes in past wars should be commemorated. Remembrance Day should be a national holiday not just for government offices but for all the population, and a minute of silence should be broadcasted nationwide.
Fabien Zelicz

I think it is depressing that so many people don't want an extra day off in February. I think it is an excellent time of the year to give everyone a day off - winter blahs, lack of daylight, etc. Kids get an entire week off in February or March depending on their school. I don't care for the idea of paying tribute to specific Prime Ministers but would prefer a focus on the history of Canada's Federal Government as many people feel passionately about liking or not liking specific public figures that would create problems.
Tina

What moron would vote against this? We spend too much of our lives working now. I don't care if the holiday is in honour of balloon blowing. Another day off sounds wonderful. Who cares what it's for?
Laura S

Being a French Canadian, I have to say that my favorite Prime Minister is Pierre Trudeau. Even though he ran up the federal debt, he did more for my culture than anyone before him. He also did more for women than they give him credit for. We need another Prime Minister who thinks as liberally and as well spoken and cultured as Pierre Trudeau was. Without him there certainly wouldn't be the artistic freedom that we French people in Ontario needed for a very long time.
Terry Carkner

Pierre Elliot Trudeau is my favourite Prime Minister because we grew up with him in government. He was a very charismatic, intelligent individual. He did much to get the whole country thinking as one. We are Canadian.
Martin Tanaka

We don't need another long weekend to mess up our business. (Transportation) Every long weekend messes up the week before and the week after for making pickup's and deliveries.
Vic Thiessen

As much as I respect the proposal to honour our past Prime Ministers I think a more Canadian statutory holiday would be "Hockey Day in Canada". We could have this holiday some time in mid- February when all the easterners are under a blanket of snow. On this day we have all 6 Canadian hockey teams play each other (just like the NHL is currently doing on Hockey Day in Canada) and good Canadians will sit at home and watch hockey all day while eating pancakes, bacon and drinking beer.
Trevor Gilbert

I think more honourable to do would be to acknowledge our true dead heroes...the ones who died in battle. "Remembrance Day" is being forgotten. What is the matter with Canadians? I have no relatives that were involved in the War yet I stand strong in taking my children "out of school" to respect those that have died for us. Let's get our priorities right...I will continue to take one of my few holidays so I can do this. If there is day we should all have "off" it should be this day - a day of "true silence."
Simone Paull

As a spirited and intelligent PM, I think that Pierre Trudeau is without peer in common memory. Candidly, I suspect that history has been very considerate of our earlier prime ministers other than Macdonald's affinity for scotch, thus they all look like statesmen. Here in BC where every holiday becomes an opportunity for yet another opportunity for marathon shopping, the value of a holiday is questionable. As for holidays that would be of value, I would prefer a holiday recognizing Canadian Scientists or Canadian Nobel Prize (Peace or Science)winners. We should also recognize Canadian explorers and historical figures before we create holidays for dead politicians (unless we are celebrating that they are finally gone).
Mark Brown

I think the Prime Ministers' Day should be held in February to shorten the time between Christmas/New Years and Easter. My Favourite Prime Minister? St. Laurent, Pearson, Trudeau. St. Laurent because he was like a father/grandfather to the country after the Second World War. Pearson because he put us on the map and won the Nobel Peace Prize. Trudeau because he was our Kennedy and brought "youth" to our government.
M. Phelps

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