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History of Lester B Pearson

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Lester B. Pearson was born on the 23rd of April 1897 in Newtonbrook, Ontario. He was a hardworking student who was one of the few to go on to college. During the First World War Lester joined the army as a volunteer Medical Orderly. He then became a pilot for the army, where he received his nickname Mike. Unfortunately he was hit by a bus and was discharged from the army. When he returned he enrolled in different universities to learn law, but went on to teach history at the University of Toronto (Pearson would marry one of his students, Maryon Moody). Prime Minister King wanted to recruit Lester into politics, but at the time Lester disliked King's political methods. Pearson eventually joined politics with a position in the Department of External affairs, and in 1948, Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent appointed Pearson to the liberal government as the Minister of External Affairs. At the time Canada had hardly any diplomatic relations with other countries because Great Britain still handled most of its affairs, therefore Pearson had a huge responsibility. As Minister Pearson proposed several different policies which included a better relationship with the Americans, and the creation of NATO. Pearson is famous for solving the Suez Canal Crisis. The Suez Crisis was when the Britain attacked Egypt and was possibly going to be the next World War. Pearson solved the crisis by creating the U.N. Emergency Peace Keeping Force, and for this major diplomatic achievement Pearson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 (only Canadian to receive this award). From this point forward Pearson would be recognized worldwide as one the best diplomats. In 1957 the Liberals would lose to Diefenbaker's Conservatives, but in 1958 Pearson would replace St. Laurent as leader of the Liberals and, in 1963, defeat the Conservatives to become Canada's 14th Prime Minister. Although Pearson served for only 5 years (1963-1968), he created several policies that had and that still have a huge impact on Canada. Universal Healthcare gave Canadians the right to receive free medical care, The Auto Pact brought in thousands of jobs for Canadians, The Canadian Pension Plan gave an income to retired workers, The National Flag helped Canada unify as an independent country from Britain, and lastly the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism helped resolve the problem Canada was having between English and French Canadians. Thus, Lester Pearson Role had a major role in unifying Canada, and creating several rights and social services for all Canadians.



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