The story of Pierre Trudeau's last-minute switch from Dominion Day to “Canada Day”

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Earlier this week, Canada celebrated its 153rd birthday. But I didn’t wish anyone a happy Canada Day. You see, I’m an Old School dinosaur. And that means July 1 is, was, and always will be Dominion Day – the original name of Canada’s birthday.

By way of background, Dominion Day was officially established by statute in 1879. However, it was sadly deemed politically-incorrect a century later.

And the incredibly sneaky process that resulted in Dominion Day’s eradication is a story worth retelling.

The deed took place in Parliament on July 9, 1982, back when Trudeau Classic was calling the shots. Purging Dominion Day from the Canadian lexicon occurred on an otherwise laidback Friday afternoon, the last day of Parliament before the summer recess. A mere 13 members were present — seven short of an official quorum.

But faster than you could say “Fuddle-Duddle”, Dominion Day was purged – all part and parcel of the Liberal Party’s ongoing “re-branding” of Canada.

Which is too bad. According to the Monarchist League of Canada, “dominion” is a very proud and powerful term. After all, the preamble to the Canadian constitution states there shall be "one Dominion." What’s more, Monarchists note that the D-word is misunderstood: Dominion is synonymous with independence, freedom and free association – not subservience or colonization.

It’s also worth noting that the very genesis of Dominion Day had much to do with that very positive Canadian attribute of compromise. As noted in The Canadian Encyclopedia, the Fathers of Confederation wanted to call the new nation the Kingdom of Canada, but the British Government, fearing the sensitivity of Americans to references of the Crown and anxious not to antagonize them after the American Civil War, insisted the Fathers find another title. Leonard Tilley suggested 'dominion': (from Psalm 72). 'He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.’”

Gee, no wonder Dominion Day was given the axe. After all, it's all so "B&B" (Biblical and British) – neither of which resonates all that well with Liberals then or now.

But history aside, the assassination of Dominion Day makes for a cautionary tale. As I mentioned earlier, there wasn’t even a quorum in the House of Commons the day Dominion Day was vanquished. Now, you’d think that would make the name change invalid. But no. According to the rules of procedure, an official quorum is NOT needed if everyone is in agreement regarding the bill being discussed. That’s disturbing. But then again, Justin Trudeau recently made more than 1,500 firearms illegal come 2022 by an order in council. As the saying goes, like father like son — both had a distaste for all that messy democracy stuff.

Bottom line: Dominion Day forever!

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  • By Ezra Levant


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