Ottawa, Ontario, January 11, 2012 – Pierre Poilievre, Member of Parliament for Nepean-Carleton announced today that the former Bank of Montreal building, located at 144 Wellington Street in Ottawa, will be named the Sir John A. Macdonald Building in honour of Canada’s first prime minister. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women.
“As Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald played an instrumental role in forming our great country. It is a fitting tribute to name this building, which faces Parliament Hill, in his honour, on his 197th birthday,” said Minister Ambrose. “The Sir John A. Macdonald Building will serve to celebrate his important legacy and play host to events that will continue to shape our country as we move forward as a nation.”
“Sir John A. Macdonald’s role in the genesis of our nation parallels his influence in shaping its capital city,” said Parliamentary Secretary Poilievre. “In addition to honouring his role in the creation and development of our great nation, the naming of the Sir John A. Macdonald Building pays homage to his influence on the transformation of Ottawa from its beginnings as a logging town to a world-class capital.”
Poilievre’s riding also has a connection to our first Prime Minister. From 1882-1887, John A. Macdonald represented an area which is now included in the present day boundaries of Nepean-Carleton.
The name choice of Sir John A. Macdonald acknowledges his significant contributions as a Father of Confederation and highlights his central role in shaping many of our national institutions. These include creating the Canadian Pacific Railway and the first Canadian national park in Banff, Alberta, as well as creating the Northwest Mounted Police, the predecessor to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The Crown-owned building was designated a “Classified” federal heritage building in 1986, the highest heritage designation possible, and is the first Government of Canada building to be named after Sir John A. Macdonald. The Government of Canada has begun preparatory work for its complete heritage restoration. Once completed, the building will permanently serve as the Confederation Room, hosting ceremonial events and large meetings for Parliament. This replaces Room 200 of the West Block, which previously performed this function before it was closed for restoration.
The rehabilitation and construction work for this important heritage building is scheduled to be completed by 2015.