Sir John A. Macdonald Birthday Messages from the Canada’s Two Major Political Parties

11 01 2010

Statement from Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff on Sir John A. Macdonald Day
Published on January 11, 2010 at 12:00, Ottawa time

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff made the following statement to commemorate the birthday of Canada’s first Prime Minister:

“Today we honour the memory of the first Prime Minister of Canada, Sir John A. Macdonald, who was born on January 11, 1815.

As one of Canada’s Fathers of Confederation, Macdonald set aside partisan differences to reform Canada’s political system, culminating in the confederation of the Province of Canada with the Maritime colonies of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in 1867.

An adept and visionary politician, he applied his love and passion for Canada towards growing and unifying our country.   Amongst his many feats was the expansion of Canada’s territory, building the Canadian Pacific Railway and founding the North-West Mounted Police.

Macdonald overcame considerable personal tragedy to leave an indelible mark on Canadian politics, with a tenure in office spanning 18 years, making him the second longest serving Prime Minister of Canada.  Even after all this time he remains the only Canadian Prime Minister to win six majority governments.

On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and our Parliamentary caucus, I encourage Canadians to take a moment to reflect on one of our country’s greatest historical figures and how his wise and passionate leadership helped carve out this great nation.”

Statement from Stephen Harper, Conservative Party leader, issued at 21:17, Ottawa time

“Today, Canadians are celebrating the memory and legacy of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, whose vision and enterprise were instrumental in setting Canada on the path to becoming the country we know and love today.

“Born in Scotland on January 11, 1815, John A. Macdonald emigrated to Canada with his family when he was five years old.  His spent his early professional years as a lawyer and city alderman in Kingston, Ontario, and then as a representative in the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada.  These experiences shaped his political ideas and ambitions through a long, illustrious and tumultuous career.

“He pursued his vision for a united Canada with conviction and determination, forging alliances across partisan lines and regional interests to promote and realize his national dream.  He will be forever remembered as Canada’s most distinguished public figure, enshrined as one of Canada’s Fathers of Confederation, as well as becoming our country’s first prime minister with the union of the first four provinces on July 1, 1867.

“Sir John A. Macdonald rose to meet the many challenges, professional, political and personal, that he faced in building our nation.  Along the way, `The Old Chieftan` left us a legacy of conviction, patriotism and achievement that remains an inspiration to Canadians today.”

Vapid boilerplate in both cases. I would have expected that the guy who once taught Canadian history at UBC would have had something more insightful to say.


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