Today would have been not only the 202nd birthday of Sir John A.McDonald. Also, This year marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation that McDonald was indispensable in bringing about. As historian Arthur Milnes argued in a column that ran in many Postmedia papers today, there would be no Confederation without McDonald…nor his importance ever be underestimated.
“If we do not take advantage of the time,” he thundered in the lead-up to Confederation in 1867, “if we should ourselves be unequal to the occasion, it may never return. And we shall hereafter bitterly and unavailingly regret having failed to embrace the happy opportunity of founding a great nation.”
And found a great nation — now at the dawn of her 150th year — Macdonald of Kingston did. What began as an experiment in federalism that brought — forced might be a better word — peoples of often-warring European languages, religions, and cultures together is now the envy of the world.
Millions of people have found safety and opportunity in Sir John A.’s Canada and we stand today as a member of the G8, a charter member of the United Nations and a land of tolerance, understanding and inclusion respected and admired everywhere.
Many conservatives and a Canadians should raise a glass for his many accomplishments and contributions to the countries mosaic.
“It is a great pleasure to encourage all Canadians to celebrate Sir John A. Macdonald Day. Sir John A., an immigrant to our shores like so many millions in our own era, sought and found opportunity in what was to become Canada. In a land divided by race, religion and geography, the Father of Confederation succeeded where others previously failed and united our land in 1867.”
“With skill and political force he brought together French and English, Catholic and Protestant, extended the vote to Aboriginal Canadians and fought for women’s voting rights. While far from perfect, Sir John A., the founder of our party, further united Canadians with the Canadian Pacific Railway and lived to see a trans-continental Canada that extended his inclusive vision for Canada from coast-to-coast
John A., Was a Nation builder in the best sense of the word.