The Hemisphere: End of the Anti-Saloon Act

The Canada Temperance Act, passed by Parliament in 1878, is memorable largely because it has managed to survive so long. Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, championed it only to prove a constitutional point—that such an important responsibility was a federal rather than a provincial right. (For himself, Sir John A. was no bluenose. Scathingly denounced by Liberal George Brown's Toronto Globe for his drinking, he retorted at an election rally: "I know you would rather have John A. drunk than George Brown sober.")

In practice, the local-option act satisfied neither...

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