CHARLOTTETOWN - A look at some of the key players in the Charlottetown Conference 150 years ago, which led to Confederation three years later.
John A. Macdonald: Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Macdonald was raised in Kingston, Ont., where he would enter politics while working as a lawyer and businessman. A shrewd tactician, Macdonald created a political alliance known as the Liberal-Conservatives, which brought together Conservatives with Upper Canadian Reformers and a French Canadian group, the Bleus. As premier of the Province of Canada, he would help create a new coalition that would send a delegation to Charlottetown in September 1864 for a conference that would sow the seeds for Confederation.
George-Etienne Cartier: Cartier has been variously described as a lawyer, rebel, railway promoter, politician and Father of Confederation. As head of the Parti Bleu, he served as co-premier of the Province of Canada with John A. Macdonald, helping set in motion the movement toward Confederation. He is credited with bringing French Canada, Manitoba and British Columbia into the Dominion of Canada.
George Brown: The owner of the Toronto-based Globe newspaper, Brown was a journalist and reform-minded politician who played an instrumental role in the creation of Canada. His newspaper boasted the largest circulation in British North America and his political views included demands for responsible government, proportional representation and a federal union. In 1864, Brown joined with his chief rivals, John A. Macdonald and George-Etienne Cartier, to form a coalition that would seek a federal union of all the British provinces.
Samuel Leonard Tilley: Tilley, a drugstore owner from Saint John, N.B., was Liberal premier of New Brunswick. An advocate of prohibition and railway development, Tilley played a key role in bringing the colony into Confederation.
Charles Tupper: Soon after Tupper became Conservative premier of Nova Scotia in May 1864, he pushed for the union of the Maritime provinces and also called for a larger federal union among the provinces of British North America. Born in Amherst, N.S., he was the last survivor of the original Fathers of Confederation, dying in 1915.
George Coles: Coles, the premier of P.E.I., was the son of a farmer who would establish a successful brewing and distilling business in Charlottetown. The Reform leader pushed for responsible government for the Island but he was not enthusiastic about the idea of uniting British North America, which helped keep the province from joining the federal union until 1873.
(Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia)