Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement on the occasion of Sir John A. Macdonald Day:
“Today, we honour the Right Honourable Sir John A. Macdonald, a founding father of our country, our first Prime Minister and an outstanding Canadian.
“A Scottish immigrant and one of the chief architects of Confederation, Sir John A. Macdonald had the courage, vision and political skills required to forge consensus among the French and the English, Catholics and Protestants, and leaders from several other diverse viewpoints and regions, on the road that led to the rapid expansion of Canada from sea to sea.
“Sir John A. Macdonald first dreamed, and then achieved, great things for Canada. During his 19 years as Prime Minister, he accomplished remarkable feats at an astounding pace – herculean tasks that laid the foundation for the wealthy, prosperous country we enjoy today. Among many noteworthy accomplishments, he saw the establishment of the Dominion of Canada, the entry into that new nation of British Columbia, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island, the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway, providing Canada with its link to the Pacific Ocean, the founding of the North-West Mounted Police (later the Royal Canadian Mounted Police), the defeat of the North-West Rebellion, and the development of the National Policy, which encouraged immigration, agriculture in the west, industry in the east, and the movement of goods across the country.
“Sir John A. Macdonald saw Canada’s future as that of “a great nation – great in thought, great in action, great in hope and great in position.” His drive and ambition to unite and expand the country were instrumental in reaching these goals, as was his fierce defence of our borders.
“One year from today, Canadians will mark the bicentennial of their founder’s birth. Our Government is proud to be supporting the various celebrations and commemorations planned for this special occasion.
“In the nascent days of our great country, we were truly blessed to have a man of his vision, his passion and his capabilities as our first Prime Minister. On this day, I encourage all Canadians to reflect on the life and legacy of this remarkable leader and founding father of our nation.”