The most firmly Canadian cultural, social and political tradition is Red Toryism. With deep spiritual and political roots in the development of the Confederation, the Red Tory factor was at the root of commonweal over the radical individualism that shaped the republic to the south of us.
Canada chose a peaceful evolution toward statehood rather than a bloody revolution, and constitutional system based on the principle of “peace, order and good government.”
Among the leaders and philosophers of our Red Tory tradition are many voices too often forgotten and neglected, to our social and cultural peril. The most well-known voice in the mid 20th century, George Grant, gave voice to this peril in his most poignant work. He anguished over the decline and loss of Canadian nationalism in his famous Lament for a Nation.
If George Grant can be said to have a literary successor, it is surely Ron Dart. Keepers of the Flame is his latest contribution to jolting our collective memory to recall the spiritual and social foundations of our nation. Dart calls upon us to rediscover the Red Tory treasure which has made the Canadian experience unique, given us the means to resist both the anarchism of the American left and the sometimes brutal and destructive individualism of its political right.
In page after page, Dart sweeps us along the stream of great Canadian men and women of letters, philosophers, poets, novelists, clerics and often colourful politicians who made the Red Tory experience the roots of Canadian sovereignty and ethos.
Keepers of the Flame is essential reading for all who love and value the Canadian experience, sense of commonweal, ability to compromise when necessary, and continue a peaceful national evolution.
We will see much more from the pen of Ron Dart, and look forward to it with anticipation.
Archbishop Lazar Puhalo
Retired Orthodox Archbishop Of Ottawa.