Post-Debate Discussion:

Why did the Canadian government eventually agree to store American nuclear weapons in the 1960s?

Why did Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau reverse this decision in 1971 and declare Canada a non-nuclear nation? If you were in charge of deciding whether or not Canada should become a nuclear nation today, what would your decision be? What are the reasons you have made that decision?

How do factors such as the political affiliations of the Cabinet and the context of international affairs affect major national policy decisions?

Are factors such as getting re-elected or fiscal responsibility taken into account when politicians make important national policy decisions?

Which arguments do you feel were the strongest in the debate? Why?

Which arguments or issues did you think were the least relevant to the debate? Why?

What is one argument that you would like more information on before you could make an informed decision?

If the Prime Minister made a decision during a Cabinet Debate   that you did not agree with, would you be upset enough to remove yourself from the Cabinet and jeopardize your government’s reputation?

Do you think that the rules of Cabinet help Ministers make the right decisions? Why or why not?

Did the structure of the debate make it easier or more difficult to argue and discuss differing opinions?


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John Diefenbaker talking to fighter pilots at Canadian Forces base, Soest, Germany
John Diefenbaker speaking with fighter pilots
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Images

John Diefenbaker with John F. Kennedy
Creator: Unknown

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | United States – Head of State | White House

Description: John Diefenbaker and US John F. Kennedy seated and chatting in the Oval Office, White House, Washington, D.C.

Date Created: 20 February 1961

Identifier: MG01/XVII/JGD1377

John Diefenbaker, Dwight Eisenhower, and their aides at table
Creator: White House

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | United States – Head of State | Columbia River Treaty

Description: John Diefenbaker, US President Dwight Eisenhower and their aides at signing of Columbia River Treaty.

Date Created: [1961]

Identifier: MG01/XVII/JGD6879

John Diefenbaker with George Pearkes and General Lauris Norstad
Creator: Capital Press Service

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Minister of Defence | NATO – Supreme Allied Commander Europe

Description: John Diefenbaker, George Pearkes, and General Lauris Norstad, NATO Supreme Commander, talking in Prime Minister’s Office

Date Created: 19 May 1959

Identifier: MG01/XVII/JGD1191

John Diefenbaker speaking with fighter pilots
Creator: Unknown

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Canadian Forces | Military Aircraft

Description: John Diefenbaker talking to fighter pilots at Canadian Forces base, Soest, Germany

Date Created: November 1958

Date Ended: Day Month John Diefenbaker en conversation avec des pilotes de chasse

Identifier: MG01/XVII/JGD828


Audio

Speech by John Diefenbaker to the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Association, Halifax

Creator:Progressive Conservative Party of Canada

Subject:Canada – Leader of the Official Opposition | Canada – Nuclear Weapons

Description:John Diefenbaker chastises the Liberal Party of Canada for what he claims was their unfounded criticism that his Government had made a commitment to United States to acquire nuclear weapons

Date Created:16November1963

Identifier:MG01/XVIII/T200-PAC150a

Speech by John Diefenbaker at a meeting of the Canadian Club, Ottawa Creator: Progressive Conservative Party of Canada

Creator:Progressive Conservative Party of Canada

Subject:Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Nuclear Weapons

Description:John Diefenbaker addresses the threat of nuclear war, indicating that Canada will not consider the use of nuclear weapons unless it has full joint control of the weapons

Date Created:24November1960

Identifier:MG01/XVIII/T213-PAC57a

Speech by John Diefenbaker at the 46th Annual Kiwanis International Convention, Toronto

Creator:Progressive Conservative Party of Canada

Subject:Canada – Head of Government | Canada – National Defence

Description:John Diefenbaker advocates for a strong defence for Canada, brushing aside the wishes of those who want Canada to remove itself from defence commitments and embrace neutrality

Date Created:3July1961

Identifier:MG01/XVIII/T209a-c-PAC54


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