TRUDEAU, REGAN, JOLY +30 MPs mark Flag Day



Reception co-hosted by the Pearson Centre and the Speaker of the House of Commons, Parliament Hill, Ottawa

Will Amos
Leona Alleslev
Chris Bittle
Bill Blair
Randy Boissonault
Celina Caesar-Chavannes
Bill Casey
Pam Damoff
Ali Ehsasi
Darren Fisher
Ahmed Husseini
Hon. Melanie Joly
Yvonne Jones
Andrew Leslie
James Maloney
Brian May
Karen McCrimmon
John McKay
Alexandra Mendes
Marco Mendicino
Joyce Murray
Kyle Peterson
Yasmin Ratansi
Hon. Geoff Regan
Darell Samson
Francis Scarpillegia
Deb Schulte
Hon. Judy Sgro
Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau
Adam Vaughan
Salma Zayed

Martin Shields
Deepak Obrai

Cheryl Hardcastle
Alistair McGregor

Sen. David Smith


February 16, 2016
Check Against Delivery
Flag Day Remarks by the Hon. Geoff Regan
Speaker of the House of Commons

Madame la ministre, chers parlementaires, mesdames et messieurs, ladies and gentlemen, I am very pleased to be here with you today to celebrate Flag Day.

In 1965, our Centennial was only two years away as Canada prepared to welcome the world to Expo ‘67 in Montréal. The wisdom of finally having a flag of our very own — designed by us to symbolize who we are and what we want to become as a proud confident people — was exceeded only by the courageous leadership that was brought to bear to make it a reality.

As most of you probably know, what became known as the Canadian Flag Debate went on for many months and was particularly acrimonious.

In his attempt to moderate the acerbic debate, Speaker Macnaughton used his own authority and eventually split the main motion into two: one substituting the new design for the national flag, and the other establishing the Royal Union Flag (the Union Jack) as a symbol of Canada’s allegiance to the Crown and membership in the Commonwealth. This was the first time the Speaker used his own authority to split a motion.

Throughout the last five decades, the Canadian flag has been transformed from an idea to an integral part of our national identity, and today, it is difficult to imagine any other flag could so well symbolize our nation.

Ce premier drapeau, qui est pour nous un symbole important de notre identité nationale, a maintenant pris sa place au sein de la collection patrimoniale de la Chambre des communes.

Last year, a very special flagpole and stand were fashioned from wood from the famed silver maple tree that inspired Alexander Muir’s song The Maple Leaf Forever. They were installed in the Chamber, at the right hand of the Speaker’s Chair, and along with Canada’s first flag, are now part of the House of Commons’ Heritage Collection, and of our parliamentary history.

Je vous remercie tous et toutes d’être venus prendre part à cette importante célébration.

Notes pour une allocution / Speech Notes

prononcée par

l’honorable Mélanie Joly, ministre du Patrimoine canadien / the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Miister of Canadian Heritage

à l’occasion d’une réception pour le Jour du drapeau national du Canada au Centre Pearson

Ottawa (Ontario) Le 16 février 2016

• Tout d’abord, je vous remercie de votre invitation.

• Si nous sommes ici aujourd’hui, c’est pour célébrer un anniversaire important :
les 51 ans du drapeau canadien!

• Since it was adopted in 1965, the Flag of Canada has become a symbol of hope, generosity and openness to the world.

• Over the years, we have seen it flying in the world’s biggest sport stadiums; receiving the salute of our soldiers abroad; unfurled in the International Space Station; and fluttering over the vast expanses of the Arctic.

• We are proud of this flag. It unites all Canadians. It bears witness to the welcoming character of our country, a country of boundless opportunities. A country proud of its past and turned resolutely toward the future.

• We are happy to share this symbol with all the newcomers, including the 25,000 Syrian refugees whom Canada has undertaken to welcome.

• C’est pour moi un grand privilège de faire partie de l’équipe qui met en œuvre l’engagement humanitaire du Canada à accueillir ces réfugiés au pays.

• Comprendre l’histoire de notre drapeau et saisir ce qu’il incarne est une étape importante que franchiront les nouveaux arrivants sur leur voie vers la citoyenneté.

• À un an des célébrations du 150e anniversaire de la Confédération, le moment est bien choisi pour réfléchir à ce que notre drapeau signifie pour chacun de nous.

• C’est aussi l’occasion de montrer notre profond attachement à notre pays et à nos concitoyens.

• Merci.


The Honourable Geoff Regan, P.C., M.P., Speaker of the House of Commons
and the
Pearson Centre for Progressive Policy
cordially invite you
to a reception on the occasion of Flag Day
Tuesday, February 16, 2016; 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Room 216-N, Centre Block, Parliament Hill

L’honorable Geoff Regan, C.P., député, Président de la Chambre des communes
avec le
Centre Pearson pour des politiques progressistes
se font le plaisir de vous inviter
à une réception à l’occasion du Jour du drapeau
Le mardi 16 février 2016; 15h à 17h
Pièce 216-N, édifice du Centre; Colline du Parlement


Subscribe to the Pearson Centre newsletter.

Insightful commentary & debate, delivered to your inbox. Sign up below.