Lester Pearson

Topics: Canada, Peacekeeping, Lester B. Pearson Pages: 4 (1188 words) Published: September 28, 2006
Defining Canada
Lester Pearson

Lester Pearson left a lasting legacy on Canada; it was during his tenure as Prime Minister when Canada adopted its own official flag, universal healthcare was applied on a national level, the Canada Pension Plan was negotiated and the Royal Commission on the Status of Women and the Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism were created. However, perhaps his greatest achievement came before he was Prime Minister, when he won Canada's only Nobel Peace Prize. Through his accomplishments Lester Pearson not only left a great legacy in Canada but a great legacy in the world. Lester Bowles Pearson was born in Newtonbrook, Ontario on April 23, 1897, his father a Methodist preacher. During World War I he left his studies at the University of Toronto to join the Royal Flying Corps in England. After being hit by a bus in London, he returned to Canada completing a degree and then teaching History. His journey into politics began when he joined a new government department in 1927, the Department of External Affairs. During his twenty-year career in the department, Pearson served in the Canadian High Commission in Britain, the Canadian Embassy in the United States and served as the Canadian Ambassador to the United States as well as leading Canada into joining NATO and attending the conference that created the United Nations in 1945. In 1948, newly elected to Parliament as a Liberal, Pearson became a member of Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent's cabinet as Minister of External Affairs. During his time as Minister he served as Canada's primary diplomat abroad and served as President of the UN General Assembly in 1952.

In 1956, still as Minister of External Affairs, Pearson left perhaps his greatest legacy. The Suez Crisis in 1956 was a conflict between Egypt and Israel and involving the British and French against the Egyptians and had the world in danger of falling into another war. Pearson, in a United Nations meeting introduced the...
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