by J W Pickersgill
Under St Laurent's government, Confederation was completed and three major construction projects, the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Trans-Canada Highway and a transcontinental natural gas pipeline, were initiated. Social welfare programs were extended, the first Canadian governor-general was appointed and nationwide television broadcasts were begun. Beyond Canada's borders, St. Laurent promoted an increasingly active and responsible Canadian role in world affairs.
These were the achievements of a man who became prime minister almost by accident, a distinguished Quebec lawyer who took office when he was already sixty-six years old. Perfectly bilingual, with an English-speaking mother and French-speaking father, St. Laurent was a member of both of Canada's founding cultures, and he became, as prime minister, a living symbol of Canadian unity.
In the words of J.W. Pickersgill, who was a minister in his cabinet, St. Laurent had "as fine an intelligence as was ever applied to the problems of government in Canada. He left it a richer, a more generous and more united country than it had been before he became prime minister."