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Macdonald’s other legacy: francophone migration south

By Andrew Caddell      

In debating John A. Macdonald’s legacy, it’s worth remembering his role in seeing people like famed author Jack Kerouac’s ancestors move to the U.S.

John A. Macdonald, Canada's first prime minister, pictured, might have seen Métis leader Louis Riel's death sentence commuted had his ally George-Étienne Cartier lived long enough to persuade him to go that route, argues Andrew Caddell. Notman & Son photograph courtesy of Library and Archives Canada
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KAMOURASKA, QUE.—Whenever friends visit from elsewhere, I make sure to bring them to a small graveyard and chapel located about five kilometres outside of the current town of Kamouraska. A large sign identifies it as “Le Berceau de [The Cradle of] Kamouraska.” Between 1691 and 1792, this was the religious and political centre from Rivière Ouelle to Rimouski, a bustling hub of farming and commerce of several thousand Canadiens. In the late 18th century, after the first two

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