Our lament for the accomplished life of Sir John A. Macdonald

Today marks the anniversary of the death of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister. By George celebrates this great man, lamenting his political acumen and leadership, the skills of which our Nation has seldom seen since.  

 Sir John A. ‘s life work was the building of the Canadian nation. Without this man’s effort, likely there would not be the country Canada.  

 His accomplishments are many:

  • As a Father of Confederation, he forged the deal that would have the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick come together in 1867.
  • As Prime Minister, he then brought British Columbia, PEI, and the great North West Territories into the Canada.
  • He created a transcontinental railway, tying all provinces from east to west with a ribbon of steel.
  • As a masterful politician, Macdonald defended the new country against the aggression of the United States, rose to the challenge of the Northwest rebellion, and kept balanced the competing interests of the French and English.

 There is little question as to why historians have named John Macdonald “Canada’s best Prime Minister.” There have been Prime Ministers, who have done great deeds; but none who have strung together such an illustrious career of significant events. Our country has had its share of charismatic political leaders; yet none have been as accomplished on the hustings and in the backrooms as Macdonald. Our first Prime Minister is well deserving of accolades and of a lament for Canadians may never see his likes again.

On this day, we should take a moment to remember Sir John A. Macdonald and our fortune to be residing in his living legacy of Canada.   

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

1 thought on “Our lament for the accomplished life of Sir John A. Macdonald

  1. Chris

    Upon Sir John A. Macdonald’s death, (the soon-to-be Prime Minister) Wilfred Laurier paid tribute to him in the House of Commons (June 8, 1891):

    “The place of Sir John A. Macdonald in this country was so large and so absorbing that it is almost impossible to conceive that the politics of this country – the fate of this country – will continue without him. His loss overwhelms us. For my part, I say, with all truth, his loss overwhelms me, and that it also overwhelms this Parliament, as if indeed one of the institutions of the land had given way. Sir John A. Macdonald now belongs to the ages, and it can be said with certainty that the career which has just been closed is one of the most remarkable careers of this century. . .

    “As to his statesmanship, it is written in the history of Canada. It may be said without any exaggeration whatever, that the life of Sir John Macdonald, from the time he entered Parliament, is the history of Canada.”


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