CBC Television Network

Reluctant Nation

Network: CBC Television Network

Broadcast Run: 1966

Broadcast Medium: Television

Aired Thursday nights from September 15 to October 20, 1966

This six-part series was specifically produced with Canada’s Centennial in mind. One hundred years of history was presented in a contemporary, news-oriented format. Interviews featured the Fathers of Confederation being asked about issues that faced the country at the time, with a nod to current events. These ranged from relations with the United States, Europe, Quebec, and Federal-Provincial conflicts – issues which still remain remarkably relevant to Canada’s identity today. For this show, Professor John Saywell of York University was a consultant. The show was written by Eric Koch and Melwyn Breen.

The show used current television news-gathering techniques to demonstrate how politicians from the past made their decisions. All parts were played by actors.

Principal Cast:

Robert Christie as Sir John A. Macdonald

Jack Creley as Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Antony Parr as Premier Andrew G. Blair of New Brunswick

Claude Bede as Premier William S. Fielding of Nova Scotia

Paul Kligman as Premier Oliver Mowat of Ontario

E.M. Margolese as Premier John Norquay of Manitoba

Robert Goodier as Premier Honore’ Mercier of Quebec

William Osler as William Van Horne, President of the Canadian Pacific Railway

Reporters: Tom Harvey and Arch McDonnell

Executive Producer: Eric Koch

Producer: Melwyn Breen

Written by John Corcelli – May, 2005