|"Arriving at MacDonald, MacDonald Station …. Please stand clear of the doors"|
The most neglected figure in Canadian history is George Brown, often derided and dismissed as an irascible anti-French/anti-Catholic bigot who was neither a good politician nor particularly keen intellectually. MacDonald gets the biographies and lavish praise while George Brown gets the footnotes. Yet Brown was equally indispensable and precisely for those qualities so visible in MacDonald which he himself lacked.
While is impact on the text and final form of the document that emerged between 1864 and 1867 was negligible, that document would have been impossible (or long delayed) without him. It was Brown who, putting aside his personal and partisan animus toward MacDonald, agreed to join a coalition government [sadly a dirty word in the present] and subjugate himself to John A's leadership. This is an act of humility and public service that is all but unthinkable in Canada's current environment.Other leaders are equally important: Cariter, Tilley and Tupper among those names largely consigned to a marginal place in the history books, all ignored and marginalized in favour the 'Great Man of History' approach taken in relation to MacDonald.
- 2013: the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, Canada's first constitutional document and one that retains contemporary relevance (no doubt this is precisely why the Conservatives didn't celebrate it)
- 2014: the 250th anniversary of the end military rule in Quebec
- 2014: the 240th anniversary of the Quebec Act (vital to Confederation and American Independence)
- 2014: the 150th anniversary of the Great Coalition and Charlottetown Conferences
- 2014: the 125th anniversary of Treaty 8
- 2015: the 175th anniversary of the Act of Union and responsible government
- 2016: the 70th anniversary of the Canadian Citizenship Act