Committee for an Independent Canada

The Committee for an Independent Canada (CIC) was conceived by Walter GORDON, Peter NEWMAN and Abraham Rotstein as a citizens' committee to promote Canadian economic and cultural independence. They recruited Jack MCCLELLAND and Claude RYAN as cochairmen and launched the CIC on 17 September 1970. By June 1971 the CIC had 170 000 signatures on a petition to Prime Minister Trudeau demanding limits to FOREIGN INVESTMENT and ownership. Many CIC ideas were eventually incorporated into law, eg, the establishment of the Canadian Development Corporation, PETRO-CANADA and the Foreign Investment Review Agency; controls over land acquisition by nonresidents; tougher rules regarding Canadian content on radio and television; and the elimination of Time's and Reader's Digest's tax privileges.

 The CIC's success can be attributed to the skilful use of media and effective persuasion by national chairmen (Edwin Goodman, Mel Hurtig, Robert Page, Dave Treleavan, Bruce Willson and Max Saltsman) and to local leaders who mobilized 10 000 members in 41 chapters. The organization was funded by private gifts, dues and chapter activities. Publications included the monthly Independencer and the books Independence: The Canadian Challenge (1972) and Getting It Back (1974) edited by Abraham Rotstein and Gary Lax. In 1981, the CIC was disbanded, many of its major goals achieved.

See also COUNCIL OF CANADIANS; NATIONALISM; ECONOMIC NATIONALISM.