Not To Be Trusted With Knives











{March 23, 2008}   The Energizer Bunny of Prime Ministers

So, Dave pointed out that if you click on any of my tags at the bottom on my posts, it doesn’t take you to just the things that I’ve tagged with that word or term, but to anything that any WordPress user has tagged with that word or term. Boo-urns! Do any of my geek readers know how to fix this (aside from telling me to buy a Mac… which seems to be my geek friends’ answer to any computer-related question)? You can click on the words in my “Category Cloud” on the side bar on the right side of the screen and that will take you to just the things that I’ve used that tag on, but since the “Category Cloud” doesn’t have all my tags (I’m assuming it only has the ones I’ve used the most), that doesn’t help me get to all my Prime Minister series postings.

Well, all that to say, I’ve created a page that will have links to all of my successful P.M. postings. You can find it here. It’s also on my vastly overloaded sidebar. You’re welcome, fans of Canadian Prime Ministers.

So, to review, since the whole point of this series is for me to memorize the list of all the Prime Ministers in Canadian history (because you just never know when that type of information will come in handy, right?) and since I’ve been bored to tears by the last few, making it hard to remember who all they were, we’ve now covered Sir John A. Macdonald, Alexander Mackenzie, Sir John Abbott, Sir John Thompson, Sir Mackenzie Bowell and Sir Charles Tupper. Three out of six named John and two out of six with Alexander in their name (the “A” in John A is for Alexander) and two out of six with Mackenzie in their name – no wonder if so hard to keep them straight!

OK, now, onto the 7th Prime Minister of Canada, Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

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Name Sir Henri-Charles-Wilfrid Laurier
Born: November 20, 1841 in Saint-Lin, Canada East (now: Saint-Lin-Laurentides, Quebec)
Died: February 17, 1919
Party: Liberal
Held Office: November 20, 1841 – February 17, 1919
Best known for: -He’s like the Energizer bunny of P.M.s:
-longest unbroken term of office for a PM: 15 years, 87 days
-most consecutive federal elections won: 4
-longest serving Canadian politian EVER: 45 years in the House of Commons
-longest serving leader of a major Canadain political party: 31 years, 8 months-his face is on the $5 bill , which happens to be my favourite bill as it has people playing hockey on it-he seems to be big on compromise – finding a way to appease people on the Manitoba Schools Question (MB had eliminated public Catholic schools, and Catholics were pissed & wanted the feds to force MB to reverse this; Laurier proposed a compromise where there could be Catholic schools where numbers warranted, on a school-by-school basis) and and the Second Boer War (English Canada wanted to support the UK, French Canada did not; Laurier sent a voluntary force rather than the miliatary response the UK had asked for)

-he was my grade 8 teacher Mrs. Foss’ favourite P.M. I have no idea why I remember this all these years later. She said she went to the university named after her fav P.M., which turned out to be Wilfrid Laurier University

Some Things I Didn’t Know About This P.M. -he oversaw the entry of Saskatchewan & Alberta (carved out from the then much larger Northwest Territories) into Confederation (1905)-he wanted to support trade reciprocity with the US, but the Conservatives didn’t, so Laurier called an election to settle it. The votes sided with the Conservatives and that was the end of Laurier’s PMship

If you are just dying to read more about Sir W.L.? Check out:

SirAndLadyLaurier.jpg

Image credits: From from the Library and Archives Canada, copyright is expired.

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Rebecca says:

Additional Laurier trivia – the university in Waterloo is named after him because it used to be known as Waterloo Lutheran University, and when they changed the name they wanted to keep the same initials. So, it became Wilfred Laurier. (This is what my OAC/gr.13 Religion teacher told me, at any rate)



Dave says:

Even the comment section is a hotbed of trivia!



Beth says:

@Rebecca – What an honour! “We chose to name the university after you, Sir, because you had the appropriate initials.” Awesome!

@Dave – And this “added value” comments section comes at no addition charge!



Jen says:

Beth I love your PM entries so keep it going! This week, I was able to incorporate Charlie Tupper into conversation when someone asked “I wonder who the shortest PM ever was”. Everyone agreed it had to be Kim Campbell, but I was able to set them straight thanks to you. Hopefully I can work in the energizer bunny PM somehow this week!



Beth says:

No way!! Someone actually asked you who the shortest PM ever was? That’s awesome. I started this little PM series thinking that, for sure, no one would read it (OK, no one but Sarah). But I’ve had quite a few comments on it (both blog comments and ones in real life) and people seem to quite like it and are finding it educational. I know I’m learning a lot about our PMs, which, of course, was the reason I started this whole thing, but it’s cool to know that others are too!

Teaser: Next week, we get Sir Robert Borden (and the First World War!)



Sarah says:

Awww…I always feel so bad for Borden. I can comment on that next week.

As for Laurier – Queen Victoria is said to have had a bit of a crush on him, dotty old lady that she was at the start of his tenure. He was certainly an improvement over Sir John “Died in his soup in her presence” Thompson.

In an address here in Ottawa in 1904, he made an ambitious pronouncement I have always admired: “The 19th century was the century of the United States. I think we can claim that it is Canada that shall fill the 20th century.” Not exactly, but wait until you see Dief’s attempt to emulate it. Not so hot.

Have a blast in the NWT!!



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