<i>Opening comments by Debbie Jodoin, Connie Wilkins and Entropy Squared</i>
Debbie Jodoin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'm Debbie Jodoin and today I take great pleasure in welcoming all of you to Parliament Hill - in Canada's capitol city of Ottawa - for the Free Dominion "Freedom and Liberty Rally!"
We will begin today's rally with the voice of Floralove Katz singing the Canadian and American national anthems. Floralove Katz is a well known Canadian singer and cellist who currently performs with Opera Lyra Ottawa. Ladies and gentlemen, starting with "Oh, Canada", Floralove Katz...
Floralove Katz: Sings "Oh, Canada".
Debbie Jodoin: Ladies and gentlemen, as a gesture of friendship and respect we ask that everyone turn at this time and face the U.S. Embassy - in that direction- for the singing of "The Star Spangled Banner". Thank you. Once again, Floralove Katz...
Floralove Katz: Sings "The Star Spangled Banner" to deafening applause.
Debbie Jodoin: Ladies and gentlemen,
Your presence here today, at the Freedom and Liberty Rally, says loudly and clearly - to Canadians, to Americans, and to the entire world - that the Canadian Spirit has NOT been extinguished. You are showing that the honour and dignity which made Canada a great nation is in fact rekindling and growing.
The failure of our Prime Minister to place Canada immediately and resolutely behind our best friend and greatest ally, after she was attacked, has hurt our nation. And it has hurt many of us, as individual citizens, to see our country so disgraced.
Some of us were so appalled by Chretien's failure that we were compelled to act. We couldn't just sit back and take it. Your presence here today shows those of us who chose to act that we were not alone.
This rally on Parliament Hill today took literally only a few days to organize. The moment we put forth the idea of meeting here in Ottawa, for the purpose of restoring our national dignity, we were deluged with offers of help. We were astonished by the numbers of people wanting to do something - anything - to help send a message to the world that there are still many Canadians who are proud of our heritage and who wish to restore our country's honour from the taint of Jean Chretien's failure.
And those of you who chose to act by coming here to Ottawa today are not alone by any means. Rallies like this one are being organized, as we speak, for Toronto and Calgary and Red Deer, and there are more locations announcing rallies on almost a daily basis. The people of Canada are speaking to the world at these rallies, but we also hope our prime minister is listening.
We were able to organize these rallies on such short notice by making extensive use of the internet in general and of the website Freedominion.ca in particular. We have with us here today the two creators and co-administrators of Free Dominion.
Ladies and gentlemen, it's my pleasure to introduce Connie Wilkins and Mark Fournier...
Mark Fournier: From the moment Jean Chretien announced to the world that Canada would not be participating in the War on Terror's Iraqi threatre of operations, Canadians from across the country have been saying, "For the first time in my life I feel ashamed to be a Canadian."
Connie Wilkins: We too have felt the sting of the shame Chretien has brought to our country, but when we see this many people willing to stand up and be counted, for what is right, our national pride is reawakened and we once again find hope. When we see the energy of an individual like Debbie Jodoin putting a rally together like this in mere days we feel encouraged to battle on.
Mark: As Canadians we have boasted of our friendship with America and we have presented it to the world as a model for other nations to follow in dealing with their neighbours. Never in the history of nation states has there been an alliance as friendly and secure as that of Canada and America.
Connie: But if any alliance is to withstand the test of time it must also pass the test of loyalty. At this time in our national history, we have failed in that test, and it is this failure which is straining relations between our countries and bringing shame to all Canadians.
Mark: The problems Chretien's failure has brought to our relationship with our best friends are not the typical problems that develop between Canada and America, when government merely irritates government. The problems we are now facing run much deeper than that. Chretien has angered and disappointed the American People and their anger and mistrust is now being directed at us, the Canadian People, as well as at our leadership.
Connie: We cannot undo what has been done or completely remove the stain which has been left on our national history. The best we can hope for is to once again regain our status as a country whose word can be trusted. Chretien must reverse his position on Canada's participation this war and we must once again stand beside our American friends and allies. Barring that, it is our duty as citizens of a free Canada to see to it that this is the last time the Liberals ever rule Canada! If the Liberals will not change their stance, they will be eternally unworthy of ever again holding public office in Canada!
Mark: Regardless of the response of the current government to the shock and outrage they have caused across both Canada and the United States, it will fall to us, as individual Canadians, to show our American friends and neighbours that on this issue the Chretien government does NOT speak for many, many Canadians. WE must be the ambassadors until we once again have a government with the competence to take up the task itself.
Connie: It is in this exact capacity - as ambassadors of goodwill - that we have gathered in our nation's capitol today, and why we will gather in cities across Canada. We are here today to show our American neighbours and allies that they still have many friends north or their border and there are still many of us in Canada who understand why we are free and who know who our true friends really are.
Mark: In this spirit of goodwill, several of our leaders have come forward to speak today. Starting off, from the riding of Edmonton Centre-East, a man with a distinguished military record, a former Veterans Affairs Critic, and an outspoken defender of liberty, Canadian Alliance Member of Parliament - Peter Goldring...
ed. note: We do not yet have copies of the speeches by the following speakers but we will post them here as they become available.
Member of Parliament Peter Goldring
Member of Parliament Cheryl Gallant
MPP Gary Guzzo
Member of Parliament Jay Hill
Only four speakers were scheduled to speak but the size of the crowd of 10,000-15,000 enouraged others to come forward so there were also comments by several others including House Leader John Reynolds and Leader of the Official Opposition Stephen Harper. Ottawa radio's Lowell Green also managed to make it to the rally in time, despite a tight schedule.
There were other speakers who came on at the last minute who we will list later.
Mark: The end of the rally here today approaches, but it is anything but the end of the voices which will continue to be raised in support of America in their war for survival against the forces of terrorism. The force which brought this crowd to Parliament Hill today is alive and growing across the country. But rallies alone will not carry the day.
Connie: There are more things we can all do and many of them are being organized through Free Dominion. For starters, we have begun a campaign to cover the nation with political stickers such as these, which say "Liberals - they have what it takes to take what you have". Hundreds have already been distributed across the country and we have some here today if you want to take them and display them in locations where they can easily be seen by the public. These stickers will send a powerful political message and help to give us the momentum we need to affect the political change that is so desperately needed in this country.
There are many other projects like this one organizing at Free Dominion and your participation is encouraged.
Debbie: And don't forget the Second Annual Free Dominion Principled Conservative Awards Banquet to be held April 11th here in Ottawa at Tudor Hall. Frontpage.com editor Jamie Glasov, and the national director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Walter Robinson, will be the guest speakers. It will be the place to be April 11th. See us for tickets if you would like to attend.
Mark: A final comment. We know there are quite a few Americans here today. If there are any freepers in the crowd from Free Republic, please come up to the front, we would like to meet you.
The rally closed with the British national anthem "God Save the Queen" sung by Floralove Katz.