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from Face in the Blue

Diefenbaker’s Foreign Policy

The Chief: former prime minister John Diefenbaker - when he was on the campaign trail in the fifties.

John George Diefenbaker Canada’s 13th Prime Minister, serving in that office from June 1957 to April 1963, was born September 181895 in Neudsadt, ON and died August 16 1979 in his home in Rockliffe Park, Ottawa. He was initiated in Wakaw Lodge No. 166 in Waklaw, SK and affiliated with Kinistino Lodge No. 1 GRS, of Prince Alberta SK in 1926. In 1977,he was awarded his 50-year Masonic membership jewel and certificate.


1960: Prime Minister John Diefenbaker introduced Canada’s first Bill of Rights. It also expressed Canada’s respect for the dignity and worth of the human person and its respect for moral and spiritual values regardless of race, colour, religion, sex or national identity. The 1960 Bill of Rights set the groundwork for the creation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms of 1982.

On March 16, 1950 Diefenbaker, then a Saskatchewan MP, told a public forum why such a law was needed. Individuals' freedoms of religion, press, speech and association are threatened by the state, he said. A Bill of Rights was needed to take a "forthright stand against discrimination based on colour, creed or racial origin." In 1960, as Prime Minister, Diefenbaker successfully introduced the Canadian Bill of Rights, the precursor of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms