|The Right Honourable
Sir Wilfrid Laurier
GCMG PC KC
|7th Prime Minister of Canada|
11 July 1896 â€“ 6 October 1911
The Earl of Aberdeen
|Preceded by||Charles Tupper|
|Succeeded by||Robert Borden|
|Born||Henri Charles Wilfrid Laurier
20 November 1841
Saint-Lin, Canada East
|Died||17 February 1919
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
|Cause of death||Stroke|
|Resting place||Notre Dame Cemetery, Ottawa, Ontario|
|Spouse(s)||ZoÃ© Lafontaine (m. 1868; his death 1919)|
|Education||McGill University (J.D., 1864)|
Let them look to the past, but let them also look to the future; let them look to the land of their ancestors, but let them look also to the land of their children.
It is a sound principle of finance, and a still sounder principle of government, that those who have the duty of expending the revenue of a country should also be saddled with the responsibility of levying and providing it.
It would be simply suicidal to French Canadians to form a party by themselves.
I am not here to parade my religious sentiments, but I declare I have too much respect for the faith in which I was born to ever use it as the basis of a political organization.
This country must be governed, and can be governed, simply on questions of policy and administration and the French Canadians who have had any part in this movement have never had any other intention but to organise upon those party distinctions and upon no other.
I would advise you to write, my dear friend, because with your active nature, solitude is simply intolerable to you, and after some time your solitude would become perhaps attractive if you were to people it with creatures of your own fancy.
He is ready, if the occasion presents itself, to throw the whole English population in the St. Lawrence.
Two races share today the soil of Canada. These people had not always been friends. But I hasten to say it. There is no longer any family here but the human family. It matters not the language people speak, or the altars at which they kneel.
Why, so soon as French Canadians, who are in a minority in this House and in the country, were to organise as a political party, they would compel the majority to organise as a political party, and the result must be disastrous to themselves.
I have been represented as a Protestant minister; there was not one of the canvassers of the honourable gentlemen opposite that did not represent to the people that I was not a Minister of the Crown, but that I was a Protestant minister.
I claim for Canada this, that in future Canada shall be at liberty to act or not act, to interfere or not interfere, to do just as she pleases, and that she shall reserve to herself the right to judge whether or not there is cause for her to act.
The Divinity could be invoked as well in the English language as in the French.
I am a subject of the British Crown, but whenever I have to choose between the interests of England and Canada it is manifest to me that the interests of my country are identical with those of the United States of America.
Confederation is a compact, made originally by four provinces but adhered to by all the nine provinces who have entered it, and I submit to the judgment of this house and to the best consideration of its members, that this compact should not be lightly altered.
For us, sons of France, political sentiment is a passion; while, for the Englishmen, politics are a question of business.
I am quite prepared, if we can do it without any disrespect to the Crown of England, to bring our titles to the marketplace and make a bonfire of them.