Lester B. Pearson

Canadian Prime Minister who taught the world leadership.

The Suez Crisis

Pearson’s first major accomplishment was by controlling the Suez Crisis in Egypt. The Suez Crisis was a military as well as a political confrontation that affected the western governments. In 1869, the Suez Canal was constructed by Egypt labourers under a French owned canal company. The canal linked the Mediterranean sea to the Red Sea, giving a route for Britain and North America to transport oil. Then in 1956, the Canal was taken over by Egypt and so this created problems for North America as well as Britain since it had the potential to damage their economy.During this time, Pearson tried to find a solution to the Crisis. Eventually he had an idea to create the first peace keeping force. This peace keeping force placed at the Suez Canal allowed tensions to diminish and all countries involved calmed down. Many countries agreed to his idea and supported the peace keeping force. This led towards him winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

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The Great Flag Debate

Pearson’s Second accomplishment as Prime Minister was by finalizing the Canadian Flag. In 1960, Pearson raised the flag question again from when William Lyon Mackenzie had created a committee to study the question in 1925. When Pearson raised the question, the great flag debate began. Many people from the committee decided to take part and tried to create the perfect Canadian flag. Many flags were submitted to the flag committee but none of them were perfect since the color and symbol were key. Pearson felt that the flag had to represent Canada and so eventually the colors red and white were selected along with the emblem of the maple leaf. In 1965, the Canadian Red Ensign was then taken down and the new national flag was raised.

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Mandela's Lesson's

Mandela’s first lesson of leadership was that "Courage is not the absence of fear—it’s inspiring others to move beyond it." Pearson followed this lesson since he gained the courage to take control over the crisis by creating the largest peace keeping force. His actions led to him achieving a Nobel Peace Prize.

Mandela’s Second lesson of leadership seen in Pearson’s next accomplishment was that "Appearances matter—and remember to smile." Lester Pearson showed this by taking initiative to bring back the great flag question. He thought that it was important that Canada should have its identity on a flag created by a true Canadian rather than having to share part of their identity with Britain.

Mandela’s last lesson of leadership demonstrated by Lester Pearson was

"Keep your friends close—and your rivals even closer." When the Suez Crisis began, Pearson negotiated with Egypt to try and come to a conclusion. Instead of attacking Egypt, he created the peace keeping the force.

Lester B Pearson the Greatest Canadian


"Suez Crisis." The Canadian Encyclopedia. John Tattrie. 06 July. 2006


"Flag Debate." The Canadian Encyclopedia. John Matheson. 02 July. 2006


"Lester B. Pearson." The Canadian Encyclopedia. Robert Bothwell. 07 June. 2011


"Toronto Pearson Airport: The man behind the name." Ontario Travel Secrets. 2008-2014


Changing Canada

During Pearson's years as Prime Minister, he changed the face of Canada by creating the Canadian pension plan, national health care and a race free immigration system. Pearson thought that Canada had the capability to become one of the greatest countries during the 1960's and so he went ahead and implemented these systems to benefit future Canadians. As a result of his great contributions to Canada and it's citizens, in 1984 Toronto's International Airport was named after him. Today the airport is called the Lester B. Pearson International Airport.