1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bourassa, Henri

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

BOURASSA, HENRI (1868–), French Canadian politician, was born in Montreal Sept. 1 1868, his mother being a daughter of L. J. Papineau. He became well known at a comparatively early age as an active writer and speaker on the side of the Nationalist movement in Canada, and a leader of the younger school of French Canadians. He was elected to the Dominion House of Commons in 1896, but resigned in protest against Canadian participation in the S. African War, 1899; he was re-elected, however, in 1900 and in 1904. He was a member of the Quebec Legislative Assembly in 1908–12. A gradual severance took place between him and his old chief, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, until in later years he became obsessed with the idea that Laurier's policy was fatal to the best interests of Canada and especially to Quebec. A speaker of extraordinary power and fascination, both in Parliament and on the platform, even Laurier himself could not sway the French Canadians as Bourassa could; and in spite of his extreme views he was heard with respect even in the strongholds of his opponents in Toronto.