Parks Canada

Parks Canada

August 14, 2009 14:53 ET

The Government of Canada Commemorates Philip Francis Little as a Person of National Significance

First Premier of Newfoundland, he was instrumental in bringing responsible government to the province

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire - Aug. 14, 2009) - On behalf of the Honourable Jim Prentice, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable Fabian Manning, Senator, today unveiled a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque commemorating Philip Francis Little (1824 -1897) as a person of national historic significance.

"Although Philip Francis Little's political role in Newfoundland was relatively short, he was nonetheless instrumental in Newfoundland's historic achievement of responsible government," said Senator Manning. "He was also a strong voice in advancing Newfoundland's economic interest and autonomy from Britain."

Born of Irish parents in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, in 1824, Little emigrated to Newfoundland in 1844, becoming the first Roman Catholic to practise law in St. John's. His strong views on responsible government, his connections in St. John's Catholic society, and his ability to unite disparate elements of the Liberal Party propelled him to a leadership role in his new home. In 1855, Little became Newfoundland's first premier and attorney general. Until his resignation and appointment as a judge of the Newfoundland Supreme Court in 1858, he continued to fight for Newfoundland's interests and autonomy. In 1868, after a decade of distinguished service in the Supreme Court, he moved permanently to Ireland.

"Philip Francis Little's tenure as premier was only eight years," said Minister Prentice. "But his passion for bringing responsible government to this province lead the way for the many politicians who followed in his path."

On behalf of the people of Canada, Parks Canada manages a nation-wide network of national historic sites that commemorate persons, places and events that have shaped Canada's history and which offer visitors the opportunity for real and inspiring discovery.

Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of the Environment about the national historic significance of places, persons and events that have marked Canada's history. The placement of a commemorative plaque represents an official recognition of their historic value. It is one means of educating the public about the richness of our cultural heritage, which must be preserved for present and future generations.

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Contact Information

  • Parks Canada Agency
    David H. Taylor
    Manager of Marketing and Communications
    Newfoundland East Field Unit