Sunday, December 21, 2014



"Yes, but the people 
would prefer John A. 
drunk to George Brown sober. 

Sir John A Responding to a heckler.

John A MacDonald, a Scottish Highlander was The first Prime Minister of Canada.  Instrumental in bringing the provinces of Upper and lower Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick together. He brokered deals that brought British Columbia, PEI, and the great North West Territories into the federation as well.

He was also quite a drinker, the public however was quite tolerant of his indulgences. He often made light of his drinking and used it to as a source of humor. After a particularly long evening, nursing a hangover,  he was no longer able to unable to hold his own and threw up on the the platform. His opponent pointed and said "Is this the man you want running your country, a drunker.!"  John A pulled himself together - green to the gills and retorted " I get sick sometimes not because of drink or any other cause, except that I am forced to listen to the ranting of my honorable opponent."

A staple of my television viewing growing up was CBC's Front Page Challenge. I will never forget this discussion on Sir John A's reputation for the drink on an episode in 1989.

The Royal Canadian Mint is releasing a a $2 coin featuring Sir John A. Macdonald's portrait "against a map of Canada in the background" and a banner bearing his name. The coin's outer ring is to include four images of a maple leaf — two at the top and two at the bottom — with the years 1815 and 2015 inscribed.  

The new coin should make for some interesting advertising campaigns from the brewing and distillery industries.

I am looking forward to toasting the Conservative Prime Minister at an #nlpoli get-together in the New Year with a drink purchased with the new toonies!

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