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It is because of Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt that Canadians spend dollars and cents, rather than the British-style pounds, shilling and pence. This was the only way that Galt achieved his life-long dream of complete separation of all of the Canadian colonies from Britain-a dream never quite achieved.

Although he was born in London, England, on Sept. 6, 1817, the youngest son of famed colonizer John Galt, Alexander Tilloch Galt had small love for his homeland. In 1835 he emigrated to Sherbrooke where he entered the service of the British American Land Co. Later he was one of the contractors for the extension of the Grand Trunk railway west from Toronto. In 1849 he entered the service of the British American Land Co.

Later he was one of the contractors for the extension of the Grand Trunk railway west from Toronto. In 1849 he entered the Canadian Parliament as a member for Sherbrooke. Soon after he signed a manifesto, favouring union with the United States, saying that was the only way Anglo-Saxon Protestant ascendancy could be maintained in Canada. He retired from Parliament but re-entered it in 1853. On the fall of the Brown-Dorion ministry in 1858 he was called on to form a ministry but deferred to Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir Georges-Etienne Cartier on condition that federation be a main plank in their platform.

He became finance minister in their ministry and kept the office with a short break until Confederation. He was the first federal finance minister but resigned Nov. 4, 1867. In 1877 he was Canadian nominee to the Anglo-American fisheries commission at Halifax. From 1880-83 he was Canadian High Commissioner to the U.K. He died Sept. 19, 1893.

 




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Reference: www.canadahistory.com/sections/eras/eras.html