Sir John Alexander Macdonald led the way. In his youth, British North America
was a patchwork of colonies and territories. When he died, Canada had become
a country stretching from sea to sea. A charming man and a shrewd manipulator, Macdonald had imagination and keen political instincts. He persuaded New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to join Quebec and Ontario in forming Confederation in 1867 and, under his leadership, the alliance continued to grow.
The main author of Canada’s constitution, he also negotiated trade agreements and boundaries with an aggressive United States, tied Canada together with a transcontinental railway and inaugurated the great era of Canadian immigration.
There may be obstructions, local differences may intervene, but it
matters not — the wheel is now revolving, and we are only the fly on
the wheel, we cannot delay it. The union of the colonies of British
America under one sovereign is a fixed fact.
Sir John A. Macdonald, 1864