John A. Macdonald: A Flawed Giant

John A. Macdonald’s was born either on January 10 1815, his registered birth date in Scotland, or on January 11 1815, the day he and his family celebrated. The bicentennial of his birth has given occasion for heated debates, where the man is criticized for his many flaws, which included the consumption of an amount of alcohol that would have frightened Winston Churchill, a political scandal that toppled his government, the execution of Louis Riel, a racist Chinese head tax and above all a fraught relationship with First Nations. His supporters counter that he was the indispensable man whose political genius made Confederation possible, Canada’s first prime minister, and the one who extended Canada’s dominion to the Pacific Ocean. In short, he was a giant, a flawed giant, but still a giant. Canada is for good or ill what he wrought.

I have collected some articles in support and in opposition to John A. on his bicentennial and provided the links below.


Stephen Harper reflects on Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald (National Post)

Sir John A. Macdonald, the greatest PM of all by Richard Gwyn (Toronto Star)

Canada’s First Scapegoat: The movement to cast John A. Macdonald as nothing more than a racist, colonialist, drunk is an insult to our history BY RICHARD GWYN (The Walrus)

Father Raymond J. deSouza: Raise a glass to Sir John A. (National Post)

Bob Plamondon: John A. Macdonald showed Canada its strength (Ottawa Citizen)


Old Macdonald: Sir John A. was a racist, a colonialist, and a drunk. Why are we celebrating him? BY STEPHEN MARCHE

Niigaan Sinclair: Stop apologizing for John A. Macdonald (Ottawa Citizen)

Confederation’s true father? George-Étienne Cartier by ALASTAIR SWEENY (Globe and Mail)

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