The speaker's first opportunity to speak in a formal sense since retiring as Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario last January. Some words about that post and its historical roots. The tradition of philanthropy and its historic roots in Canada. Citizenship and private philanthropy. The speaker's opportunity and privilege over the last five years of seeking what is best in Canada. Making comparisons with what we contribute in terms of volunteerism and philanthropy with the United States. Volunteerism three times as great in the U.S. as in Canada, as is charitable giving, according to the House of Commons Finance Committee. Some figures, and reasons why this is so. An examination of citizenship, its importance, and what genuine citizenship means. Canada in danger of losing a spirit of community and vigorous citizenship. The way in which government intervention undermines and weakens the authority of the very civil institutions that lie at the roots of our historical consciousness as a nation. Advantages in our Canadian system. Canada's struggle to define itself as a nation. The danger of defining our national identity in terms of government programmes. The fact that governments have no money, they only have our money, which is borrowed money which must be repaid by succeeding generations. The need for private charity to fill the gap. What Canadian individuals should perhaps give to charity. The purpose of both public and private policy as we approach the millenium to take the necessary steps to ensure that the private sector can unleash the almost $6 billion which we do not give but which we must give if we are able to continue to call ourselves a generous people. Some figures of government cutbacks to private charities. Signs that the private sector is responding, with example. A change taking place in official attitudes to private philanthropy. Tax credits for charitable donations in the U.S. and in Canada. Volunteerism as Canada. Canadians ready for a "new citizenship."
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