150+ Canadians Day 147: Mel Hurtig

Mel Hurtig contributed to peace by living a life of activism with a passion for Canada. #Canada150

Mel Hurtig (1932 – 2016) opened Edmonton’s first independent bookstore in 1956 and then sold it and started a publishing house. He ran unsuccessfully for the federal Liberal party in Edmonton West in 1972, arguing against free trade, foreign ownership of Canadian assets, and cultural imperialism.

He worked for five years on the three-volume The Canadian Encyclopedia and then published a Junior Encyclopedia of Canada.

Hurtig was co-founder of the Committee for an Independent Canada (CIC) and later established the Council of Canadians.

“From the time that he was in his early 20s, he has been a passionate nationalist and that doesn’t mean he believed we should be inward thinking. It meant he believed in Canada’s sovereignty, and that we were a strong and wonderful nation.”   –Leslie Hurtig, one of Mel Hurtig’s four daughters 

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