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New Biographies

Minor Corrections

Biography of the Day

WILLIE, ALLEN PATRICK – Volume XVI (1931-1940)

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation


Responsible Government

Sir John A. Macdonald

From the Red River Settlement to Manitoba (1812–70)

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Sir George-Étienne Cartier


The Fenians

Women in the DCB/DBC

The Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences of 1864

Introductory Essays of the DCB/DBC

The Acadians

For Educators

The War of 1812 

Canada’s Wartime Prime Ministers

The First World War

Discontent in Ontario

The premier and attorney general of Ontario from 1872 to 1896, Oliver MOWAT, a former law student and long-time Liberal foe of Sir John A. MACDONALD, argued against the federal veto over provincial legislation. His biographer explains:

“Responsible government presupposes autonomy, and Mowat’s stand on behalf of provincial responsible government has sat ill with scholars who contend that the confederation settlement compromised provincial autonomy for the sake of strong central government. However, the modelling of confederation on the empire, a feature of the settlement which is commonly cited as evidence of the founders’ concern for strong central government, itself implied provincial autonomy and responsible government. Mowat’s position was consistent with the imperial model, the language of the relevant resolutions (language which was reproduced in the [British North America] Act), and the guidelines for disallowance which Macdonald himself set out as prime minister in 1868. Above all, it was true to what had been the fundamental principle of Upper Canadian Reform politics ever since the 1820s, the principle which legitimized confederation itself in Reformers’ eyes: the attainment of self-government by the Upper Canadian community.”

To learn more about the struggle between federal and provincial powers in Ontario, consult the biographies that are listed below.

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