Louis Hippolyte Lafontaine

Lafontaine, Louis Hippolyte


Born Oct. 4, 1807, in Boucherville; died Feb. 26,1864, in Montreal. Canadian political figure; lawyer.

From 1830 to 1837, Lafontaine was a deputy to the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada. He was a supporter of L. Papineau, who opposed the British authorities. After the anticolonial uprising of 1837 was defeated and Papineau fled to the USA, Lafontaine replaced him as the leader of the French-Canadian proponents of reform. From 1841 to 1851 he was a deputy to the parliament of the united province of Canada. He fought for the creation of a coalition of French-Canadian reformers, whose main platform was the formation in Canada of a government responsible to the legislative assembly.

From September 1842 to November 1843 and again from March 1848 through October 1851, Lafontaine and the leader of the reform movement in Upper Canada, R. Baldwin, headed the first and second Lafontaine-Baldwin administrations in Canada, in which he was minister of justice for Lower Canada. The second administration permanently established the principle of a responsible government in Canada.

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But this changed with the introduction of the "Reform Alliance" party headed by Robert Baldwin in Canada West, "faithful advocate of the responsible principle", and Louis Hippolyte Lafontaine in Canada East.