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Micheline on John’s birthday, 22nd December 2019

I’m sending a photograph of me. It was taken by my friend John on his birthday which happens to be three days before Christmas. My dear friend Paulina and I drove to Magog to celebrate. We brought cake, wine and other goodies. But John insisted on cooking the meal, including his version of a French Canadian tourtière.

John has white hair, but mine is grey. Paulina’s is black. We are ageing.

As for my long absence from my blog, it was caused by a password catastrophe. My memory is not as good as it was, so passwords have become a major nuisance. I live alone, and no one else uses my computer. Would that I didn’t have to remember passwords!

Canadian Confederation

I have been working on the Canadian Confederation, but have yet to publish my post. It is difficult to understand why French-speaking Canadians could not be educated in French outside Quebec. New France was “conquered,” but did this mean that French-speaking Canadians had to be confined to one province in order to be educated in French.

However, there have been key partnerships in the history of Canada. Robert Baldwin and Sir Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine, the co-premiers of the Province of Canada, were friends. The next paragraph can serve as confirmation that William Lyon Mackenzie and Louis-Joseph Papineau were partners in the Rebellions of 1837-1838.

The caption below the picture of Louis-Joseph Papineau in the Canadian Encyclopedia reads:

During the Rebellions of 1837 Papineau lost control of events that he was instrumental in creating.

(courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-11075)

Once the two Canadas were united, its premiers worked together to devise a way of governing Canada.

Baldwin was the first popularizer of responsible government and one of the first proponents of a bicultural nation.

(Robert Baldwin, courtesy Metropolitan Toronto Library)

These rebellions and l’Acte d’union were steps leading to responsible government and Confederation. The purchase of Rupert’s Land was reassuring. The United States was expanding. Besides, building railroads was the business of the day.

André Laurendeau and Davidson Dunton got along very well. Legend has it that André Laurendeau died because Quebec nationalists opposed his co-chairing the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. It was stressful, but did it kill him?

André Laurendeau and Davidson Dunton, the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism (Photo credit: The Canadian Encyclopedia)

Conclusion

John’s birthday dinner was celebrated by three Canadians of different origins. These friendships are happy friendships, strong friendships.

Paul Robeson sings Un Canadien errant. The lyrics are usually attributed to Antoine Gérin-Lajoie

© Micheline Walker
26 September 2020
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