W5 Reveals the Untold Story Behind the Flag that Unified Canada, Saturday on CTV

— March 20, 2014

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TORONTO (March 20, 2014) – Powerful, identifiable, and unifying: Canada’s maple leaf flag is worn and flown by Canadians around the world, serving as a statement of pride and patriotism. On Saturday, March 22 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, CTV GO, and CTV News GO, W5 celebrates the flag 50 years after the acrimonious debate that led to its creation. From celebrations on Parliament Hill to conversations with historians, W5’s Kevin Newman investigates the rich history of the maple leaf flag in “THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE,” showing how the now iconic flag unified the country and saved a nation.

In 1964, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson proposed replacing the Canadian Red Ensign, which featured a British Union Jack, with a new, distinctly Canadian flag. The goal: a clear symbol of Canada’s independence from England and a flag that could be held up by all Canadians, no matter what their heritage. Pearson’s favoured design, the “Pearson Pennant,” was derided by the Progressive Conservatives, led by John Diefenbaker. After months of bitter debate, a parliamentary committee was formed to meet in secret and recommend a new flag. W5 offers viewers a never-before-seen glimpse at some of the thousands of designs that were considered, and reviews secret diaries and correspondence from the committee that have now been declassified after decades on the shelf.

The eventual choice was the maple leaf design that flies across Canada today – one that Canadians fly with pride, wave when Canada’s athletes win, and with which Canada’s fallen warriors are draped. But just who created the single maple leaf design, when it was first created, and who on the parliamentary committee knew about it before the debates even began was never revealed… until now.

Later on W5, Victor Malarek tells the story of professional aerobatic pilot Pete McLeod in “BORN TO FLY.” The Red Lake, Ont. native – who learned to fly in the lap of his bush pilot father – has taken his high-speed career to new heights, becoming one of the best in the field in an international competition that takes place across the globe.

W5 also repeats on CTV on Sundays at 4 p.m. ET, and can be seen on Investigation Discovery on Tuesdays at 11 p.m. ET, and Wednesdays 12 noon ET; on demand at CTVNews.ca/W5; the CTV GO App and CTV News GO App, the CTV Mobile channel on Bell Mobile TV, and through video on demand partners, such as Bell Fibe TV (visit CTV.ca for local listings). W5 is also simulcast in Toronto on CFRB NEWSTALK1010.











About W5

With an ongoing commitment to covering tough, relevant stories with fair and responsible reporting, W5 is in its 48th season of investigative journalism. Hosted by CTV NEWS’ Lloyd Robertson, W5 is the most-watched documentary program in Canada, and the winner of several awards including the prestigious Gordon Sinclair Award for Broadcast Journalism. Anton Koschany is Executive Producer of W5. Brett Mitchell is Senior Producer. Wendy Freeman is President, CTV News.


About CTV
CTV is Canada's #1 private broadcaster. Featuring a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming, CTV has been Canada’s most-watched television network for the past 12 years in a row. CTV is a division of Bell Media, Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio and digital. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. More information about CTV can be found on the network’s website at ctv.ca.

- CTV-


For more information, contact:

Julie MacFarlane, Bell Media, 416-384-4623; or julie.macfarlane@bellmedia.ca

Patricia Garcia, Bell Media, 416-384-2645 or patricia.garcia@bellmedia.ca