On this day in Canadian history…
Honoré Mercier 1840-1894
Liberal Premier of Quebec 1887-1891, was born on this day at St-Athanase, Iberville County, in 1840; died in Montreal Oct. 30, 1894. Mercier helped found the Parti national in 1872, to dissociate the liberals from the Parti Rouge, and was elected MP for Rouville; 1879 moved to provincial politics; 1885 elected leader of the provincial Liberal Party; 1885 severely criticized Riel’s hanging; 1886 elected Premier; settles Jesuits estates issue, creates a separate University of Montreal, encourages railway building and colonization; 1888 creates Department of Agriculture and Colonization, with Curé Antoine LaBelle as deputy minister; hosts first interprovincial conference of premiers since Confederation, forcing Ottawa to recognize provincial autonomy in fiscal matters; Dec 1891 removed from office in Baie des Chaleurs railway scandal, but no proof he was personally involved.
1993 Canada – Federal election campaign heats up as Kim Campbell’s Conservative campaign committee release series of TV ads attacking Jean Chrétien; critics charge the ads make fun of the Liberal leader’s face, disfigured by a childhood disease; ads later withdrawn.
1992 Ottawa Ontario – Eric Hoskins wins 1992 Pearson Peace Medal, awarded by United Nations Association in Canada; 31 year old doctor gave humanitarian aid to postwar Iraq.
1969 Ottawa Ontario – Herbert Gray appointed Minister without Portfolio by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau; MP for Windsor West becomes Canada’s first cabinet minister of Jewish background.
1968 Quebec Quebec – René Lévesque 1922-1987 chosen President of new Parti Québécois; after 3-day convention in Quebec City merges the Mouvement Souveraineté-Association and the Ralliement National.
1936 Halifax, Nova Scotia – Mary Teresa Sullivan 1902-1973 sworn in as member of Halifax City Council; first woman alderman in Canada.