Trudeau marks Louis Riel Day, Flag Day

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid tribute to Louis Riel’s  in a statement recognizing the Metis leader’s sacrifices.  “The ideals Louis Riel fought- ideals of inclusiveness and equality- are now the very same values on which we base our country’s identity,” Trudeau said.

Louis Riel was born in 1844 in St. Boniface, Manitoba.  He was a leader, and negotiator, for the Red River Metis. He formed a provisional government in 1869, and passed a bill of rights known as the Manitoba Act 1870.

He allowed an agitator to be tried, and then executed  Riel was tried for their murder, and exiled for 5 years.  He returned to Canada in 1884, and led the Northwest rebellion.  Riel was defeated in the rebellion.  He was tried, and executed for high treason in Regina in November, 1885. Trudeau described him as a “Founder of Manitoba, and a key contributor to Canadian Confederation.”  Manitoba officially became a province in 1870.

Canadian Flag Turns 51 years old:

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The Canadian flag turns 51 years old today.  It flew for the first time on February 15, 1965.  Trudeau released a statement recognizing the occasion.   “The Maple Leaf is a powerful symbol that unites Canadians across the country and around the world,” he said.

The flag is the result of an all-party committee struck in September, 1964.  It was proclaimed by Queen Elizabeth II in January, 1965. It was raised for the first time at 12pm on February 15, 1965.