GUELPH – Today marks the twentieth anniversary of a great man’s death. His name was Colin M. Brown.
Maybe you never heard of him, but Colin was an important person in my life and an important person in Canadian history.
Colin M. Brown – Pathfinder
For one thing, he was the founder and first president of the National Citizens Coalition.
But that’s not what made him so important.
What’s important about Colin is the example he set for the rest of us who believe in freedom and who believe some values are worth fighting for — no matter what the odds.
Today, for instance, some of us are sometimes disillusioned and disappointed with the trends of the world. Some of us even think at times that we should give up the battle.
But just imagine what it was like for conservatives back in the late 1960s, when Canada was in the grip of Trudeaumania.
Socialism we were told then was the way of the future. Big government, went the conventional wisdom, was the answer to all our problems.
Anyone who believed otherwise was ostracized as a “dinosaur” or worse.
Colin didn’t buy it.
To him Trudeau’s vision was not only wrong, but also destroying the country he loved.
Yet he just didn’t complain about what was happening to his country — he did something about it.
Always a fighter, this World War II vet, took up his sword and declared war on Trudeau’s Canada.
Using his own money he took out ads in newspapers speaking up for free markets and calling for less government.
This was heresy!
Politicians attacked him, leftists smeared him, the media tried to ignore him.
But undeterred, Colin fought on.
And before long something happened: thousands of Canadians rallied to Colin’s side.
They saw in Colin a man who had the courage of his convictions, a man who was saying the things they longed to hear, a man who wasn’t afraid to stand up for what was right.
So great was Colin’s support that in 1975 he founded the NCC, as a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to fighting for a freer, better Canada. He called it a hobby that went berserk.
Did Colin and the NCC help to change Canada?
Well let’s put it this way, back in 1975 I don’t think even Colin would have dreamed that one of his successors as NCC president would one day become Prime Minister.