June 25th, 2024

Preserving our Canadian heritage

By Lethbridge Herald on November 5, 2022.

Rachael Thomas – Conservative MP for Lethbridge

“The True North strong and free.”

A key line in Canada’s National Anthem.

These are more than words sung at hockey games or special ceremonies. These words declare a truth that was fought for and won by those who went before us. This truth is now preserved by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

At the start of this vital document outlining our guaranteed protections is this assurance: “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law…”

There is something resolute about the recognition of these two powers.

These two components play a fundamental role in our genesis as a parliamentary democracy—a system of governance where the state is the servant, and the people are the masters. 

Throughout history, it has been kings and queens, dynasties and dictators who have ruled the people. Some rulers exhibited characteristics of benevolence and faith in the people. However, it was not common and not often long-lasting. Today, full democracies—nations where civil liberties and fundamental political freedoms are respected and reinforced by a political culture—only make up about 12.6 per cent of the world’s countries and only 6.4 per cent of the world’s population. 

My point is this: democracy and respecting the rule of law is not the norm; it is the exception.

Through this lens, I wish to express both honour and gratitude to the veterans who have served this country, many of whom gave their lives to preserve the values we hold so dear. 

In many ways, we take our precious and unique rights and freedoms for granted in this country. Sadly, this apathy is accompanied by a dying understanding and appreciation for the sacrifices made by our veterans and those currently serving in the Canadian Armed Forces. 

During the First and Second World Wars, when young soldiers set sail across the Atlantic, they did so to protect these principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law. Tyrannical powers were attempting to usurp individual freedoms and restore a governmental structure that would make the people servants to the state. 

It is impossible to comprehend what our world would look like today if the Allies had not won the War. However, what we can imagine is the almost constant temptation of governments to exert more and more control over the people, whether through excessive taxation, or control over speech, belief, or expression. 

Governments always tend to lean toward dominance. 

It is only through a healthy, strong, and engaged civil society that democracies are sustained.

The government must focus on four main things: the safety and security of Canadians, facilitating an environment of economic prosperity, maintaining a strong justice system, and establishing our place on the world stage.

When the government encroaches on our lives beyond these purposes, it impedes the human spirit, thwarts creativity, prevents innovation, and hinders our ability to prosper. 

A limited government allows for people to be the solution makers, problem solvers, and wealth generators, and this is what truly makes our country thrive. 

When I consider our rich Canadian heritage and culture, I think of people like Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone, Frederick Banting, who invented insulin, Lewis Urry, who invented the Alkaline battery, Norman James Breakey, who invented the paint roller, Marcellus Gilmore Edson, who invented peanut butter, and Joseph Coyle, who invented the egg carton. I look at the sports that originated in Canada, like ice hockey, basketball, five-pin bowling, lacrosse, and baseball. 

It is the people, not the government, that make this nation great. 

I want to thank the men and women who have gone before us—those who built a country of which we can be tremendously proud and those who have fought and continue to fight to preserve the fundamental principles of democracy so that we might remain “The True North strong and free.”

President Ronald Reagan wisely pointed out, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” 

To honour those who died for our freedom, the least we can do is live for it.   

I hope you and your family will take the time to attend one of the Remembrance Day ceremonies taking place in our region on Friday, November 11th.

Lest we forget.

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Southern Albertan



When Ms. Thomas considers “our rich Canada heritage and culture”, where is the list of First Nations, Metis and Inuit names – names of individuals who have made significant and important contributions to the nation that is called Canada?
Moreover, always quoting Ronald Reagan is more than past the best before date. And, utilising Remembrance Day as a platform from which to continue the partisan rant is unbecoming and rather crass actually.
Where is the tribute to Lester B. Pearson, 14th Prime Minister of Canada, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957? And why not an introduction to the Canadian Voice of Women who, for over 60 years, have been engaged in “building cultures of peace through education, advocacy and amplifying the voices of women” – just two examples of Canadians devoted to peace.

“There can be no dedication to Canada’s future without a knowledge of its past.” – John Diefenbaker, 13th Prime Minister of Canada


Amazing how she uses an American to talk about Canadian heritage. Pathetic at best.

Redneck From Manyberries

Ms Thomas, just a few points to consider:
(1) Insulin was not invented, it is produced by the pancreas.
(2) Banting did not work alone on the role of insulin in treating diabetes.
(3) Alexander Graham Bell was never a Canadian citizen. He was born in Scotland and until his death in Canada, was a British Subject. He became a US citizen in 1822.
(4) The rights and freedoms enshrined in the Charter are not unique to Canada. Many other democratic countries have enshrined similar sets of rights and freedoms in comparable documents.
(5) The politicians and bureaucrats who worked on the Charter were well read and drew upon the ideas of classical Greek scholars as well as many famous Enlightenment philosophers, a number of whom were in fact Scottish.

I am dismayed that you hold the position you do in the Shadow Cabinet and yet appear to be so remarkably uninformed.

Last edited 1 year ago by Redneck From Manyberries

While I agree with you I also must remind you most of the early Canadians who served in the Canadian military in 1914-18 were British and Scottish as that was the majority of the Canadian population. My grandfather was scot born but inlisted with the 27th Battalion in WWI out of Winnipeg and also served in WWII. So to many of the early political leaders.

This Red Neck Has No Neck

I understand that. My Grandfather was born in Canada (1st generation) and fought in WWI as a member of the 4th CMR’s. We have a letter he sent to one of his sisters (my Great Aunt) while he was in training in England before departing for France, in which he reports going “home” to Southern Scotland on leave to visit family.

Last edited 1 year ago by This Red Neck Has No Neck

Ahhh would love to read it. As a military historian for my own Regiment and co author of our history we perpetuate the 3rd CMR. Interesting read. Son in law had a letter from a family member down east that served in WW1 and let me read a letter. Very cool to read. Now that is Canadian history.

John P Nightingale



This from a person who supported the so called “Freedom Convoy” a fringe group that looked to overthrow an elected government and inflicted weeks of pain on the capital city and parts of the country .

Southern Albertan

Perhaps there needs to be some serious consideration for sedition charges.

Les Elford

The True North Strong and Free
Where Oh Where Can You Be?
Once So Proud, Once So Strong
Where Oh Where Have You Gone?

Congratulations once again; Mrs. Thomas on your new role.

Canadian Heritage (Canadian Government website).

“Canadian Heritage and its portfolio organizations play a vital role in the cultural, civic and economic life of Canadians. Arts, culture and heritage represent more than $57 billion in the Canadian economy and close to 673,000 jobs in sectors such as film and video, broadcasting, music, publishing, archives, performing arts, heritage institutions, festivals and celebrations.”

This vitally important, multifaceted, large portfolio currently requires, extensive and diligent scrutiny; to ensure it operates in an honest, ethical manner and those responsible perform their duties within a forthright and fiduciary manner.

Currently the Federal Government’s Ministry of Heritage; involves three deeply disturbing, contentious and disgusting issues and /or scandals as follows

1) The deeply contentious Bill C-11 and Bill C-18 which may significantly impact/remove our freedom of speech as it currently exists and other issues of equal importance.

Bill C-11 http://www.parl.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=en&Mode=1&billId=11528728


















2) The disgusting and scandalous government funding for a racist (Laith Marouf). Ironically and hypocritically (surprise) as part of their “anti-hate program” Sounds like a policy/ slogan/program (War is Peace) right out of the George Orwell book; “1984.” Mr. Marough is an Anti-Semite which the Federal Government knew about for about for a month and a half and did nothing before being embarrassed enough and forced to stop his $133,000.00 contract.





3) The equally disgusting and disturbing “Hockey Canada” scandal/ fiasco.

I wish you all the best within this new role, you have your hands full.

I have nothing but profound respect for the men and women serving in our military and armed forces.

For a time, I was lucky enough to have the honor and deep privilege of getting to know these heroes by working with them in the Veteran Affairs funded; Canadian Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program. In my humble opinion, our Canadian Military is; if not the best trained Military on the planet certainly one of the best.

Sadly, they are woefully under-funded, and the head of NATO is required to come over to Canada and embarrass the Prime Minister into upping his attention to defense spending.

During this time of Remembrance, I often wonder what; those who made the ultimate sacrifice would think of our current state of Government.



Once again les the flooder of cut and paste posts. As a person who served in uniform I’m sure those who made the sacrifice would be alarmed with people like Thomas who supported people in a minority fringe group who are bent on overthrowing an elected government for selfish demands.

Last edited 1 year ago by JimO

As with the Canadian flag the “True North Strong and Free” quote is absconded by the so called Freedom Convoy supporter and degraded with their fringe protest and Thomas knows that and as do Les. Shameful as I can not proudly fly the
Flag I was given on my retirement from my 37 year service without fear of being linked to this pathetic movement.

Last edited 1 year ago by JimO
Southern Albertan

Agreed….the flying of the Canadian flag by convoy supporters in our neighbourhood and community leaves a sour taste for the flag for us, for sure. Perhaps when the word ‘freedom’ is considered, the flag of Ukraine could be better, flown, in support.

Southern Albertan

Certainly for many of us, we are not fans of Trudeau, but, noses may well be held to vote for the Trudeau Liberals as opposed to the now perceived, by many of us, Conservatives and their now, fascist tendencies. The “Mouseland’ story, unfortunately, still applies, to this day.
And yes, Mr. Elford, I’m sorry but your long epistles are not helpful….sometimes short, and to the point has more impact.

Les Elford


With respect for your consideration.

Thank you for your feedback. I appreciate it. Your point is taken.

It appears these are tenuous, tumultuous times for our country. Informational articles previously submitted are from Michael Geist; a leading well- respected lawyer and expert on Bill C-18 and Bill C-11.

In 2010, Managing Intellectual Property named him one of the 50 most influential people on intellectual property in the world and Canadian Lawyer named him one of the 25 most influential lawyers in Canada in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Dr. Geist was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2018.

We are fortunate to have such renowned academic provide objective feedback on proposed Government legislation.

It appears; we may be in a time which, we may require exceptional due diligence to decipher what we consider truth according to which tribe we support

There remains’ two sides to the story. Take these articles; how you will, that is your choice. You may disagree with what is said, but information for information’s sake should not be threatening to anyone.

If you could; please help me understand how the term “fascist” could or would be more “helpful”, than the information I submitted, and who are those who may find the information “unhelpful”. How would using this term be any more “helpful ” than the terms the Prime Minister has repetitively called Canadians. Or is this how social interaction/ communication just takes place now? Heaven help us, if it is.

According to Dictionary.com; “fascist is someone who supports or promotes fascism—a system of government led by a dictator who typically rules by forcefully and often violently suppressing opposition and criticism, controlling all industry and commerce, and promoting nationalism and often racism.”

It appears there has been an; indisputable, unequivocal history of the above taking place, since the inception of this current government.

In reference to Bill C-18; the “Parliamentary Budget Officer estimate that over 75% of the benefits – hundreds of millions of dollars – will go to broadcast giants such as Bell, Rogers, Shaw, Corus, and the CBC. Newspapers will be left fighting over the remaining scraps, if they’re eligible for anything. (Michael Geist).

In these times of, economic, inflationary, recessionary, geopolitical and food supply crisis; I wonder who; “the hundreds of millions” identified above will prove to be more “helpful” for.

the large mega corporations or,

the one and a half million people currently relying of food banks throughout Canada

single parents and families struggling to afford groceries, pay their mortgage or rent, keep their jobs, or

the homeless trying to survive, long enough to see the next day throughout the cold winter months.

Based on the above I would hope; it would /could be easy to see, something is seriously wrong with the current government of Canada.