Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin by John Ralston Saul

Extraordinary Canadians: Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin

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Canada has no better interpreter than brilliant writer and thinker John Ralston Saul. Here he argues that modern Canada did not begin in 1867; rather its foundation was laid years earlier by two visionary men, Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin. Opposites in temperament and driven by intense experiences of love and tragedy, together they developed principles and programs that would help unite the country.

After the 1841 union the two leaders of Lower and Upper Canada worked to create a reformist movement for responsible government run by elected citizens instead of a colonial governor. During the “Great Ministry” of 1848-51, despite violent opposition, they set about creating a more equitable nation. They revamped judicial institutions, established a public education system, made bilingualism official, and designed a network of public roads.

Writing with verve and deep convictions, Saul restores these two extraordinary Canadians to rightful prominence.