by Peter B. Waite
John A. Macdonald was the first prime minister of Canada. He was the dominant creative force behind the British North America Act, and brought British Columbia, Manitoba, the North-West Territory and Prince Edward Island into Confederation. His dream was the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway from coast-to-coast.
John A. Macdonald was a great leader and, like all leaders, his triumphs were sometimes overshadowed by troubles. The Pacific Scandal of 1873 rocked the very foundation of his government. The Saskatchewan rebellion of 1884 divided French and English Canadians. Yet Macdonald did not despair, for he believed "troubles come as naturally as sparks fly."
Macdonald's story is the story of Canada in the making- dramatic, tense, sometimes compromising, often humourous, and always entertaining.