While traveling the world doing business or being involved with numerous aid and developmental or philanthropic projects, I have often been asked “what is a Canadian?” and “what defines us as a nation?”

Many people have volunteered that a Canadian is not an American or not something else.

For me, the most important result of the Canadian Creed is that it helps further define us as to who and what we are as Canadians and what we stand for.

As Canadians, we have so much to be proud of.

Read the Creed everyday and it will be difficult not to be grateful for all that we have and all that we are and all that we stand for as Canadians.

Robert E. Kulhawy (Born 1959)

While having the privilege of addressing a number of sessions at the Citizenship Court, I have had the satisfaction of observing the reactions of a number of people, both young and old, on becoming new Canadians.  It is rewarding to see people from all parts of the world as they embark on a new journey in our country, a first step toward a life of hope for a new future.

I have often asked myself. ‘Why they are here? What were their lives like before they came?  What do they hope to achieve by becoming a citizen?”  I even ask, “What it was they were trying to get away from?”

I ask myself too, what they will do for Canada.  How will Canada have to change to meet their needs?  What is our responsibility to them?  How can they be helped to integrate into our heterogeneous and complex society? Can we, as a nation, meet the needs of individuals and deal with the increasing forces of globalization at the same time?

To meet these needs we, as a society, have set up a number of infrastructures which are in a constant state of evolution as conditions change.  Some of these are instituted by government through a variety of social agencies; others are provided by cultural agencies already entrenched in our communities.  While such entities are helpful, there is a concern among many that a unifying force is needed that will aid in creating a Canadian consciousness across our land; thus avoiding a kind of Balkanization which tends to arise as special interests groups multiply.

It is our sincere hope that “The Canadian Creed” (att.) may be a first step in assisting both “old” and “new” Canadians establishing and integrating the benefits and obligations that pertain to being Canadian citizens.

The Honourable Albert Ludwig (1919 – 2019)

What, then, is a creed?  In its simplest form it is a set of principles agreed upon by a group of people of like mind.   It is a unifying set of ideas which takes into account where we have come from and what we aspire to be.  We note, though, that each person has a different story and that therefore, such principles must be flexible.  A creed, therefore, contains guidelines based on the freedom to pursue individual aims while also providing for the growth of society as a whole ~i.e., individual growth is fostered by a social structure which provides a safe haven in which we learn to live with each other and derive mutual benefit.

The Canadian Creed reflects the major tenets set forth in the “Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms”.  It emphasizes the belief that, as Canadian Citizens, we are subject to the Rule of Law that guarantees freedom of speech, religion and matters that relate to the preservation of our heritage.  It is our privilege to exercise these rights and to defend them as they apply to others in our own society, as well as seeking to achieve them for other people in other lands.  Because we take these commitments seriously, and because we have demonstrated to the rest of the world that we are prepared to back these commitments in peaceful ways, we can be proud to proclaim that we are Canadians.

Robert E. Kulhawy & The Honourable Albert Ludwig