Flash Back Friday: Pacific Scandal 1873

1873 Pacific Scandal
1873 Pacific Scandal

Prime Minister John A. Macdonald: “I admit I took the money and bribed the electors with it, is there anything wrong about that?”

Comment from The Mail: “We in Canada seem to have lost all idea of justice, honor and integrity”

In 1872 members of the Conservative government accepted money from a Montreal businessman who wanted the contract to build the Canadian Pacific Railway.

When the Liberals made details of the bribes public, Prime Minister Macdonald attempted to delay the investigation of the ‘Pacific Scandal’ by proroguing parliament.

Alexander Mackenzie, the Liberal leader (standing on the left) used the ‘Pacific Scandal’ to help defeat Macdonald in the next election.

Sir John Alexander Macdonald was the first Prime Minister of Canada from 1867–1873.  Macdonald lost the 1873 election to Mackenzie. Then he was re-elected in 1878 and remained an elected official until 1891.

Macdonald had a political career which spanned 24 years. Macdonald served 19 years as  Prime Minister of Canada; only William Lyon Mackenzie King served longer – 22 years.

Is there a similar scandal that could bring down the current prime minister?