History of the World Federalist Movement in Canada

WinnipegWFMOrganized Canadian world federalist groups emerged after the Second World War, developing at about the same time as world federalist groups in other countries. The Second World War left Europe devastated, the horror of the Holocaust was revealed, and atomic war, first used on the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, threatened all of humanity. The world federalists understood the structural constraints of the United Nations Organization and the urgent need to develop democratic world institutions that could make and enforce world law.

In 1951, five independent world federalist groups in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg and Saskatoon came together to endorse a national constitution and form the World Federalists of Canada. Formal Government of Canada letters patent were obtained in 1965.   A sister organization, a CRA registered charitable organization, the World Federalist Foundation was established in 1986.

In spite of the frustrations of the Cold War, the World Federalists of Canada (now called World Federalist Movement – Canada) continued to champion step-by-step improvements in the way human society governs itself on a global scale.

Today, two decades after the end of the Cold War, the value in democratically accountable global governance has never been clearer. Our personal lives have become integrated with the life of an emerging world community, and global trends, conditions and patterns tie us to each other and the Earth. Individual citizens have a stake in the outcome of world affairs and ought to have democratic rights over decisions affecting the world community.


For more about the movement’s history, see:

VisionoftheWorldA Vision of the World: A Short Survey of World Federalist History
by Rik Panganiban and Barbara Walker

“What we have attempted to achieve is not a comprehensive history of the Movement, a Herculean effort which would take several volumes and has been more comprehensively approached by other scholars …. Nor is this booklet meant as a primer on World Federalist dogma. Opinions expressed here are the authors’ own, and are not meant to be construed as World Federalist policy. Instead we have assembled a broad collection of some of the best thinking and brightest achievements of the World Federalists in our distinguished fifty year history.”

For further information about the history of the international world federalist movement, see the website of the World Federalist Movement – Institute for Global Policy.


PDilsebookThe World Federalists of Canada: Their Contribution to Social Thought and Change,
The Early Years 1945-1962
by Paul Dilse

From the Preface: “What had begun as a brief history of the Toronto Branch turned into a comprehensive history of the world federalists in Canada – from their first attempt at a national organization in 1945 to their achievement of a cohesive and growing national organization in 1962. … I recall my initial impulse for the project. I felt it was a story worth telling to today’s world federalists, our friends in the peace, development and environmental movements, and to Canadians interested in their history. I have been encouraged along the way by the touching personal stories of Canada’s early world federalists and their spirited correspondence.”


Note: These two documents are large files and  may load slowly. Paper copies are available for free upon request.

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