Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Canada Day: Reason to Celebrate Our History

Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt was an influential politician of his time. Historian H.B. Timothy’s claim that Galt’s vision and influence over his fellow politicians make him “the real Father of Confederation.”

Drawing on this skill, Galt became a major figure in the development of railways in pre-Confederation Canada, including the Grand Trunk Railway in the 1850s. He also became active in politics, sitting as an independent in the legislature, representing his hometown of Sherbrooke from 1848 to 1850 and from 1853 to 1872. 

It was Galt who, in 1858, first proposed federation for the British North American provinces, along with the opening up and development of the Northwest.  He built prestige for Canada in London’s money market, and made extended trips to London prior to 1867 to help negotiate the terms of Confederation.

In September 1864, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island were meeting to discuss a maritime union when the delegates from Canada arrived in Charlottetown. Half of the cabinet from Upper and Lower Canada arrived by steamer to discuss a union of all of British North America.  While John A. MacDonald outlined a plan for a strong central government and preservation of provincial identities, Alexander Tilloch Galt outlined the financial arrangements. Galt went on to participate in all three conferences leading to the confederation.  He assisted in organizing the new country’s administration, and became the first finance minister in the first Cabinet.

Local festivities are being planned for Friday, July 1st at the Galt Museum & Archives and Fort Whoop-Up. Join us and celebrate Canada’s 149th birthday with music, performances, crafts, games and festival food!  Explore our exhibits and more!   Events are for all ages. There will be free admission to the Galt Museum and Fort Whoop-Up.  For more information visit http://galtmuseum.com or call 403.320-3954.

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