KINGSTON, Ont. — Prime Minister Stephen Harper celebrated the 200th anniversary of Canada’s founding father — Sir John A. Macdonald — by stating so much good came from what he called an ordinary man of whom little was expected.
“Without Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada — the best country in the world — simply would not exist,” Harper told a crowd of dignitaries under tight security at Kingston City Hall in eastern Ontario.
It was a decidedly non-partisan event — with former Liberal prime minister John Turner and Progressive Conservative Kim Campbell in attendance — but Harper’s comments dovetailed with his Conservative party election message this year that Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is unready to govern despite his high-profile name.
Harper praised Macdonald’s vision and leadership while acknowledging his well-known history as a heavy drinker.
“As Canadians we’ve insisted on understanding even our greatest citizens as human beings,” Harper said. “Macdonald was acutely aware of his own humanity and as a consequence very forgiving of it in others.”
The prime minister is expected to call a vote by next October’s fixed election date, and his every appearance now appears groomed to that goal.
Harper did not make himself available to the large media contingent on hand for the event and did not take questions from reporters.
With files from National Post staff
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