We’re honoured to have former long-term Toronto City Councillor (and sometime mayoral candidate) Tony O’Donohue on our RN/RC Board of Directors.
Tony has been a staunch and active Canadian republican for many years. He was the applicant in O’Donohue v. Canada (aka O’Donohue v. the Queen) — a legal challenge to the exclusion of Roman Catholics (and indeed, in effect, all other non-Anglican Protestants) from the current office of Canadian head of state (which is also of course the British monarch, Defender of the Faith and Head of the Church of England).
Tony also has a long history of political activism in the Liberal Party of Canada. He recently passed along to Republic Now/République du Canada a recent exchange with its current power structure, recalling the birth of our independent Canadian flag some 50 years ago. (The official birthday will be this coming Sunday, February 15, 2015.)
We think many visitors to this site will be interested in just what he had to say:
“Hi All: I have been bombarded with letters from the Liberals looking for money. I received an e-mail to-day from Justin Trudeau. Attached is my reply.
“Dear Mr Trudeau:
“I used to be very active in the Liberal Party. It began when Lester Pearson was promoting the Maple Flag in the early 1960s. And the Conservatives (Diefenbaker) vehemently opposed a distinct Canadian flag — they wanted something with the Union Jack in it.
“The group that I was involved with saw the flag as one of the first steps in de-colonization and becoming a real sovereign state. The next step to nationhood was having our own distinct Canadian head of State, chosen by Canadians — not some off-shore royal, whose first allegiance was not to Canada, but to Britain.
“Myself, and I believe, the majority of Canadians have, periodically, in the intervening years, indicated through public opinion polls, that Canada should be a fully independent and sovereign state. The spirit of the Liberal Party showed its road to maturity 50 years ago, when it adopted the Canadian Flag. Since then, it has failed to acknowledge the spirit of Lester Pearson and his road to full sovereignty.
“Myself and my republican friends will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Maple Leaf flag, two months from now, on February 15, 2015. Where do you stand on completing that journey to full independence? Do not be afraid of the “monarchists” — please stand up and be counted! When that happens, myself and thousands of republicans will be pleased to contribute to the Liberal Party.
“Tony O’Donohue, P. Eng.
“Dec. 12, 2014.”
(For some further detail on Lester Pearson and the journey to full independence, see “Lester Pearson’s hope for a Canadian republic .. after the fall of France in 1940.”)