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Alone at the Top
The Path to Power
Leading Canada
Private Life
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Banner: First Among Equals: The Prime Minister in Canadian Life and Politics
Wilfrid Laurier banner
Wilfred Laurier.

The prime minister and the newspaper boy

Saskatoon, July 29, 1910, early morning. The Prime Minister of Canada has just arrived at the railway station; he is here to lay the cornerstone of the first university in Saskatchewan. The province is not unfamiliar to this leader; only five years ago he oversaw the inauguration of Saskatchewan into Confederation. In this short time, the province has grown tremendously and this newly founded institute of higher learning is representative of Saskatchewan's increasing prosperity.

The prime minister is anxious to know what's going on in the country, so he buys a newspaper from a bright-eyed lad on the platform. He inquires about the young man's business and expresses the hope that he will be a great man someday. The newspaper boy recognizes his illustrious client and shares with him some of his youthful ideas. The prime minister and the paper boy engage in a lively conversation. But duty calls for both. The young man has papers to sell and concludes: "Well, Mr. Prime Minister, I can't waste any more time on you. I must get back to work."

The prime minister? Sir Wilfrid Laurier. And the newspaper boy? He is John G. Diefenbaker who, forty-seven years later, will also be Prime Minister of Canada.

Source: Canada's Prime Ministers, 1867 - 1994: Biographies and Anecdotes. [Ottawa]: National Archives of Canada, [1994]. 40 p.

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