National Newswatch
National Opinion Centre

Canada’s greatest Prime Minister (equaled only by Sir Wilfrid Laurier) wrote the last letter of his life on this date in 1891. His final written communication was sent to British Columbia Premier John Robson.

“It has occurred to me that the present would be an opportune season for your government to discuss with ours the various questions still unsettled between them,” Macdonald wrote. “You, I presume, can get away from Victoria with little or no inconvenience, and you will find us here in Parliamentary session until the 1st of July or later. We will then scatter until October, and at that season you, I suppose, will be wanted at home. Besides it will be a pleasant season for your journey. Give yourself leave of absence, and you and I can take up …. any other unsolved questions that may remain. Herein fail not.”

Two weeks later the Father of Confederation would pass into history, dying at home at Earnscliffe in Ottawa.

Arthur Milnes is an accomplished public historian and award-winning journalist.  He was research assistant on The Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney’s best-selling Memoirs and also served as a speechwriter to then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper and as a Fellow of the Queen’s Centre for the Study of Democracy under the leadership of Tom Axworthy.  A resident of Kingston, Ontario, Milnes serves as the in-house historian at the 175 year-old Frontenac Club Hotel.
The views, opinions and analyses expressed in the articles on National Newswatch are those of the contributor(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the publishers.
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