“Today, we recognize the birthday of Canada’s most important founding father, the Rt Hon. Sir John A. Macdonald.

“As the principle architect of Confederation, he was instrumental in laying the very foundation of our nation. But he didn’t stop there. He achieved a dream of uniting Canada from coast to coast, to ensure a unified and prosperous Canada.

“During his first term as Canada’s first prime minister, Manitoba, the North-West Territories (including today’s Alberta and Saskatchewan), British Columbia and Prince Edward Island joined the original four provinces. Then he set about uniting these regions via one of Canada's greatest feats of engineering – the Canadian Pacific Railway.

“He also founded the Northwest Mounted Police, which secured Canadian sovereignty in the West and prepared the way for settlement. And his National Policy encouraged immigration, agriculture in the West, industry in the East, and the movement of goods and people across the country.

“He is the only prime minister to have led six majority governments. His 19 years is the second-longest service as prime minister of Canada. As Richard Gwyn, his modern biographer, wrote: “No Macdonald, no Canada.”

“All Canadians who call this country home should remember his many remarkable achievements in creating this great Northern Dominion.”