John A. Macdonald was the first prime minister of the Dominion of Canada, but that was the end of a story. It was his predecessors, Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine and Robert Baldwin, who made self-government possible. In fact, La Fontaine was the first Prime Minister.
His contributions are commemorated in the place names of parks, towns, streets, bridges and even a tunnel, yet when our children learn Canadian history, they are taught that Canada began in 1867. Canada was born amid shoot-outs, riots and fires. La Fontaine and Baldwin had created a balanced, fair government and knew that the change to a democracy would be a difficult process for the old oligarchy of Tories and businessmen to accept.
Confederation, dominated by the old Tory elite making the same claims, helped to perpetuate an illusion that Canada began in 1867, but place names survive, waiting for us to wonder why they were chosen, and in the process, to rediscover our past and learn of the real struggles our ancestors endured in order to make Canada the first colony to secede from the British Empire in a civil manner – without war. (Source: Joseph Graham)
The building we are advocating for was once the home of Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine the great man who is mentioned above. This Victorian style mansion built in the 1830's is currently left to fall into ruin by the City of Montreal. Over the years there have been many people advocating for the building and yet nothing has been done. Something must be done to save the building.
We, the undersigned, call upon The Canadian Government to work alongside Montreal's City officials to manage, support and take action to save the Mansion of Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine.
Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine, born in 1807, is arguably Canada’s most important political figure. It was critically due to his judgment and leadership that the history of Quebec and Canada since 1840 would be orderly and peaceful, unlike what happened in the United States with the War of Secession of 1861-64. By rare good luck, the elegant home in which he lived for most of his public life still survives, even if it is a shameful ruin on Overdale Avenue in Montreal.
We want the property secured and the Lafontaine building put under the building code or it should be done forthwith by the Canadian Government. The Mansion and a sizable quantity of land around it must be immediately registered for public purposes in the national interest and eventually carefully restored with a suitable use that honours its rich history.
The Help Save the Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine Mansion! petition to City of Montreal was written by Ashley Clarkson & Selina Antonucci and is in the category Culture at GoPetition.