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Contemporary Canadian Govt. & Politics: Speeches


Speeches made by politicians and government leaders can be difficult to locate many years after the fact. For relatively current speeches always check the government or political website with which the person is affiliated. Many speeches are provided there, but not usually for very long. Other sources include books compiling speeches by one person, or by many different speakers, websites with selected speeches posted, a journal that reprints important speeches, government collections, archival collections, etc. The following are some examples of the kinds of collections and sources available for finding Canadian speeches on government and politics.

For the Budget Speech see Special Topics: Government Finance. For the Throne Speech see What was said -  In Parliament.

Canada Speaks. An Industry Canada Digital Collections project by the Prince Albert Public School System, created in 1996. Archived at the Library and Archives Canada.

This is a collection of speeches by Canadian Prime Ministers, in English and French, from John A. MacDonald to the present. The site also includes a picture and brief biographical sketch for each PM. Site not updated.

Canadian Speeches. Woodville, ON: Mars McGuiness, 1987 - . Monthly. Also available in full text on Canadian Business and Current Affairs, Canadian Newsdisc, etc.

Reprints entire speeches from important events, including may by politicians and government officials.

CBC Archives

The website of the Archives of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation includes several collections of radio and television clips on government and political topics. Items include clips from speeches, interviews, etc. Select "Politics and Economy" to see the collections available, search by keyword or use the Topic Index.


Programs that were broadcast on CPAC can be searched by keyword and ordered. If not available online, a transcript of video copy may be available. See details on the CPAC website under "Order Tapes".

Empire Club Addresses. Don Mills, ON: Empire Club Foundation, 1903 - . Annual. Available in print in most school and university libraries in Canada and online:

The Empire Club of Canada has been an important speakers forum since 1903. Speeches include many on political topics, and many given by prominent government officials and politicians.
TIP: Use the Advanced Search options to locate index pages and full text of thousands of speeches.

First Among Equals: The Prime Minister in Canadian Life and Politics. By Library and Archives Canada.

Select "Speeches" for links to speeches by topic, or click on "Profiles" and the PM's name to see a photograph, biographical sketch, and links to their speeches. (Speeches are being added to this site on an irregular basis.)

Great Canadian Speeches: From Sir John A. MacDonald to Adrienne Clarkson. Edited by Dennis Gruending. Calgary, AB: Fifth House, 2004. 312 p.


Ministers' Speeches.

The official federal government website for each Department or Ministry usually has some of the Minister's speeches under the link to "Minister" or a similar heading. (Go to the Canada site to find the official websites of federal departments.) Print copies for earlier years should be in research libraries. They may be entitled "Statements and Speeches", "Speaking Notes for the Honourable...", "Notes for an Address by the Honourable...", etc.

All federal government news releases are also accessible from the News section of the Canada site: where you can limit searches to "news type": speeches or statements.

Finding Aid: Ministers' Speeches Index. By Library of Parliament. Ottawa: Library of Parliament, 1988 - . Updated monthly.

Political Party Platforms. (See description under What was Written)

Includes some political speeches quoted verbatim in newspapers and other sources.

Political Party Leaders' Speeches (Conventions, Leaders Debates, etc.).

Selected speeches by leaders of political parties are available on most political party web sites. (See List of Registered Political Parties on the Elections Canada web site for links.)

Political Party Conventions: Proceedings of these are occasionally published and can be found using library catalogues. Common Subject headings: Political conventions, and/or the name of the party. To obtain others, contact the political party Headquarters. (See List of Registered Political Parties on the Elections Canada web site for contact information.)

Leaders Debates: Transcripts of these debates may also be published and available through libraries. E.g. 1997 Leader's Debate with Rt. Hon. Jean Chretien, Hon. Jean Charest, Mr. Preston Manning, Ms Alexa McDonough, Mr. Gilles Duceppe. Ottawa: StenoTran Services Inc., 1997. 130 p. This is the verbatim transcript of the televised debate during the 1997 federal election campaign. Common subject heading: Campaign debates. Search also by leaders' names as Author, or using keywords: televised debate, transcript, etc. There may also be film footage of televised debates available (e.g. the Library and Archives Canada collections include some.) See Recorded Images for details. To obtain others: Contact the television station broadcasting the debates to purchase transcripts. CPAC should have complete, unedited coverage. See the CPAC website (listed above) for details on buying the tape.

Prime Ministers of Canada: Selected Speeches, 1867-2002. Edited by H. Raymond Samuels II. Ottawa: Agora Cosmopolitan, 2002. 482 p.

Words and Occasions: An Anthology of Speeches and Articles Selected from his Papers by Lester B. Pearson. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1970. 296 p.

To find more speeches by government officials and politicians:

Common Library of Congress subject heading: Speeches, addresses, etc., Canadian
Search also by the person's last name as AUTHOR.
Or do a keyword search combining a keyword for the topic or the person's name with keywords for speeches. Common keywords: Address, Remarks, Speech(es), Statement(s), Transcript.