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Canada’s forgotten independence day
Mar. 11 2014 | The Globe and Mail | Lawrence Martin.

March 11, 1848, was the day when Canada’s united colonies got responsible government. You might go so far as to call it our independence day – the day real democracy arrived....
Baldwin and LaFontaine, leaders of the territories now known as Ontario and Quebec, convinced their colonial masters that allowing power to reside with an elected assembly instead of a governor’s appointed executive council was the only way to stave off anarchy....John A. Macdonald became our nation maker, as biographer Richard Gwyn calls him, but these men put in place the foundation. Lawyers by profession, they were not your typical win-at-all-costs politicians. Baldwin was a soft-spoken man who went about his work with a sunken heart. The pain at the loss of his adored wife at a young age never escaped him. But inescapable too was his devotion to the principles of democracy, social equity and justice. LaFontaine had that same commitment. He overcame strident opposition from francophone leaders in realizing his vision of a democratic union of the two cultures.

Not to be overlooked is Nova Scotia’s Joseph Howe, who secured responsible government for Nova Scotia two months earlier than Ontario and Quebec. His philosophy of governance paralleled that of Baldwin and LaFontaine. “The only questions I ask myself are, What is right? What is just? What is for the public good?” he said.
nation_builders  Lawrence_Martin  history  Canada  foundational  Canadian  anniversaries  public_goods  Sir_John_A._Macdonald  overlooked  forgotten 
march 2014 by jerryking
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