Department of Canadian Heritage

Department of Canadian Heritage

November 20, 2016 08:00 ET

Statement by Minister Joly on Sir Wilfrid Laurier's 175th Birthday

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 20, 2016) -

Today we honour the memory of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, an exceptional leader who left a profound mark on his era. Nicknamed "the Great Conciliator," he was Canada's first Francophone prime minister and the first to hold that position for 15 consecutive years.

A skilled politician with a charismatic personality, Sir Wilfrid Laurier unceasingly sought compromise. He oversaw the addition of the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan to Confederation in 1905. Under his leadership, Canada also welcomed nearly two million newcomers who spurred the development of the western part of the country. Known as "the father of modern Canada," he shaped a country resolutely turned toward the future and firmly anchored in the 20th century.

As we approach the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, let us take a moment to appreciate the precious legacy of Sir Wilfrid Laurier and his important place in our history. I invite you to learn more about his life and his vision of a country that is open to the world.

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Contact Information

  • Pierre-Olivier Herbert
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage