10/22/2014 09:19 EDT | Updated 12/22/2014 05:59 EST

Prime ministers rarely speak to the nation, usually only on big issues

OTTAWA - National addresses by Canadian prime ministers are rare, and usually only deal with major events. Here's a list of recent instances where the prime minister felt it necessary to address the nation:

1968: Lester Pearson speaks about the defeat of his minority government in the Commons and his plan to seek a vote of confidence to stave off a change of government or an election.

1970: Pierre Trudeau tells Canadians about his decision to invoke the War Measures Act in response to the October Crisis and the terrorist activities of the FLQ.

1990: Brian Mulroney pleads the case of the Meech Lake Accord.

1995: Jean Chretien delivers a passionate defence of Canada ahead of the Quebec referendum.

2005: Paul Martin speaks about the Liberal sponsorship scandal.

2008: Stephen Harper defends his decision to prorogue Parliament in response to a Liberal-NDP coalition proposal.