PLEDGE CANADA sign now

PLEDGE CANADA CAMPAIGN
Pledge Canada campaign launched across the nation
The Canada Pledge is a powerful and inspiring statement of what it means to be Canadian.

Legislated into the Canadian Bill of Rights by the Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker on July 1, 1960, the Pledge is no longer being recited anywhere in Canada.

Now, a volunteer coalition of Canadians is working to have the Pledge reintroduced to our schools. It is a grass roots campaign that originated in Smiths Falls, the town where the Pledge was first read in 1961, and is now spreading across the country.

"When I tell people about our campaign, many ask why we even bother," said Ron Stewart of Smiths Falls, Ontario, who is leading the campaign. "But when these same people read the pledge, the transformation is amazing. They are touched by the grace and timeless relevance of the words themselves. In fact, the pledge itself is our strongest selling point."

Here is the Canada pledge:

I am a Canadian, a free Canadian,
Free to speak without fear,
Free to worship God in my own way,
Free to stand for what I think right,
Free to oppose what I believe wrong,
Free to choose those who shall govern my country.
This heritage of freedom, I pledge to uphold,
For myself and all mankind.

Until now, Pledge Canada has been a quiet, grass roots campaign, comprising petitions, letters to key influencers and local-level media relations. "However, it is time to take our message across Canada, and Canada Day is an ideal time to launch our campaign," Stewart said. "The national pride that we demonstrate on Canada Day is quite impressive, and the pledge is a meaningful way to extend that pride into our daily lives, every day of the year."

The Pledge also represents a tangible way for Canadians to honour their war veterans into the future, long after the last soldier has fallen. "And what better time to reintroduce the Pledge than this, the Year of the Veteran?" Stewart said. "We owe this to our veterans, and we should do so while many are alive to witness it."

Ron Stewart was a school principal in 1961 when he was asked by the Smiths Falls Board of Education to introduce the Pledge in New Aberdeen School. The Pledge was recited every day and in all assemblies for the remainder of his teaching career. When Ron retired in 1995, his was the only school in the country using the Pledge. It soon fell silent completely.

"The Pledge always sent a tingle down my spine and put tears in the eyes of the veterans who attended our school services each year," Stewart recalled. "It was the best lesson in Civics that we ever taught our students. It enunciates the great freedoms we enjoy as a nation and will honour our war dead and our veterans for all time."

Recently, Ron Stewart received a letter of support from Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, who said the Pledge was "inspiring and eloquent and deserves to be widely known."

Citizens from all over Canada can express support for reintroduction of the Pledge by signing our online petition.




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Leon MiddletonBy:
Nature and EnvironmentIn:
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Canadian Public

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