- "If it were in my power, and if I had the responsibility, I would try the sunny way."
Wilfrid Laurier (20 November 1841 – 17 February 1919) was the seventh Prime Minister of Canada, in office from 11 July 1896 to 6 October 1911. He leads the Canadians in Civilization VI: Gathering Storm.
Laurier negotiates through diplomatic crisis to protect his Tundra empire.
You chose the sunny ways, Wilfrid Laurier, and made cheerfulness and courtesy the character of the Canadian people. Where others look to divide and sow mistrust, you inspire cooperation and understanding. Show the world that a unified people can stand the test of time.
His leader ability is The Last Best West. He can build Farms on Tundra tiles (and Tundra Hills tiles after discovering Civil Engineering) and receives a 50% discount on purchase costs of Snow, Snow Hills, Tundra, and Tundra Hills tiles, which also provide a 100% bonus to the extraction rate of resources and +1 Production for all Mines built on them.
Canada is a civilization that thrives in the Snow and Tundra. Canada can generate more Tourism using the Ice Hockey Rink improvement and Mountie unit. Their diplomatic skills allow them to influence World Congress. Laurier will always want to join Emergencies in order to accumulate the most Diplomatic Favor in the World Congress.
Agenda-based Approval: You have proved a reliable partner in resolving international conflict, Canada commends you.
Agenda-based Disapproval: Why do you not help resolve the crises that affect the world? Are you unmoved by the plight of others? (Pourquoi n'aidez-vous pas à résoudre les crises qui secouent le monde? N'êtes-vous pas sensible au malheur des autres?)
Attacked: As we can reach no peaceful resolution with you, Canada must turn, with reluctance, to war.
Declares War: As an unstinting malignancy defines your relationship to Canada, we have no recourse than war.
[Note: The subtitles do not match Laurier's spoken line. He actually says, "In responding to the unstinting malignancy that has heretofore defined your relationship with Canada, we can have no recourse, but war!"]
Defeated: So ends our dream of a Canada that might have been. Our people are good-hearted. Rule with mercy, and learn from them. (C'était illusoire de chercher à s'entendre avec vous. Mais jamais je ne regretterai de prendre la défense de mon peuple. - lit. "It was illusory to seek agreement with you. But I would never regret defending my people.")
Greeting: On behalf of the people of Canada, welcome. I am Prime Minister Laurier. (Au nom du peuple canadien, bienvenue. Je suis le Premier Ministre Laurier.)
Denounced: Negotiating with you tests the limits of human patience, and I will no longer indulge your behavior.
Denunciation: I wish you had proved to be a wiser, more agreeable ruler, but your actions leave me scant hope for a peaceful future.
Friendship Accepted from Player: I join the people of Canada in their wish to accept your friendship. Let us declare it to the world!
Invitation to Capital: We would be honored to welcome representatives to learn about our capital. Grant us the same courtesy, if you will.
Invitation to City: Please come to visit the capital of Canada. Our people would be honored by your visit.
Accepts Player's Trade: I accept your proposal, with thanks.
Canada's seventh Prime Minister, and its first Francophone Prime Minister, is widely regarded as one of the most august of Canada's statesmen, and his fifteen-year-long tenure as Prime Minister remains Canada's longest unbroken term of office. A brilliant orator and effective, pragmatic, conciliatory political moderate, he was instrumental in defining not only an independent Canada, but one reconciled to itself on grounds of shared identity.
He was born November 20, 1841 in Saint-Lin, Lower Canada. His wide early education included an English-language school, and a classical education at a very traditional French-language Catholic secondary school. He was an exceptional student, and entered McGill College in 1861 to study law. He was engaged in the Parti Rouge's politics both as a student and as a graduate, and was widely respected for his intelligence, candor, conviction, and reserve.
Early in his professional life, Laurier relocated to Arthabaskaville. He entered local politics and began a meteoric ascent within Liberal circles. He was elected MP in 1871 on a moderate platform, and over the opposition of the Catholic clergy, earning a solid majority vote even as the Liberals performed poorly in that election. His best-received public speech as a freshman MP was an impassioned plea for better representation for the province of Quebec.
Laurier was instrumental in reorganizing and reinvigorating a moribund Liberal party, pressing for a program of political reforms and remaining moderate on many other issues, and founding the Parti National (which would later be integrated into the Liberal party). In 1873, when the Macdonald government resigned, Laurier stood for election in Drummond and Arthabaskaville and won. Two of his early speeches won him great praise: The first, delivered in French, described his loyalty to his nation, his party, and the liberal principles he had supported. The second was an ardent defense of Louis Riel.
Louis Riel was a Metis leader (Metis are Canadians of mixed ancestry, having both First Nations and European ancestors) who had been elected to Parliament despite having led the Red River Rebellion against his own government. That rebellion had been the result of conflicts between the Metis and First Nations on one side, and waves of Anglophone settlers on the other in Canada's frontier, as the direct result of Canadian policies encouraging Anglophone settlement at the cost of Francophone and Indigenous populations (see the Canada entry for additional information, although a fair accounting of the causes and outcomes of the conflicts exceeds the scope of the Civilopedia). Laurier's speech defending Riel and castigating his removal from Parliament is a masterpiece of oratory and legal reasoning, and brought him considerable approbation and a reputation as a conciliator within Parliament.
As a Francophone Liberal, Laurier faced two primary sources of political opposition. The first was the conservative governments of Macdonald (and later Mackenzie). The second was the Catholic clergy. At that point in history, the Catholic Church was decidedly ultramontanist—a movement defined by its hostility to liberal political orders and its insistence on the hierarchy of the clergy—and given the strength of Catholicism in the identity of Francophone Canadians, this was a strong political adversary. Laurier argued that the liberalism he espoused was not hostile to Catholicism, but endorsed a political reform that would strengthen institutions and argued that a separation of church and state provided the clergy with a way to influence politics through argument and reasoning, not through fiat. This position, generally accepted as reasonable in the 21st Century, was, at the time, a new path forward for two hostile political camps, describing how they might find common ground in the political domain. Laurier articulated this vision best in an 1877 speech in Quebec, just as the Vatican's representative was travelling through Canada with instructions for the clergy on political issues.
The Manitoba Schools Question was a political crisis that brought down Canada's Conservative government at the close of the 19th century. This was a complicated political question involving matters of French and English language instruction and use in official languages, denominational and public schools, and provincial and federal powers. In response to it, Laurier gave perhaps his most famous speech—the “Sunny Ways” speech—in which he appealed for negotiation and compromise. Canada's Liberals won the election of 1896, and Laurier became Prime Minister. He was able to resolve the Manitoba Schools Question, but only at the cost of French-language minority rights in Manitoba.
Although the French-speaking Canadians formed the core of his supporters, Laurier was willing to vote against their interests throughout his career as Prime Minister, if he felt it led to a stronger, more independent and unified Canada. Canadians who wanted closer ties to Britain never felt he was close enough to the Crown; Canadians who wanted more robust support for the Francophone causes never felt he advocated strongly enough for them. His government ended in 1911, due to a lack of support for the trade policies he had advocated with the US. During his tenure, the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan had been added.
For the remainder of his life, he was an active member of the opposition. He strongly supported Canada's involvement in World War I (although he actively opposed conscription). After the Armistice, he had returned to a focus on rebuilding Canadian unity when he died in February of 1919. His political allies and enemies alike mourned his passing, and thousands flocked to the streets of Ottawa during his funeral.
Wilfrid Laurier's legacy is his firm belief that reasoned compromise is capable of producing the most equitable outcomes, even among people with firm and principled beliefs. Possessing a realist's moderation, but nonetheless holding respect for his opposition, he could argue with impassioned eloquence for those causes he believed in. Historians judge his term in office well, and crucial to the creation of a modern, independent Canada.
- Wilfrid Laurier's diplomacy screen shows a frozen-over Rideau Canal running underneath a bridge in front of Parliament Hill.
- Wilfrid Laurier's leader ability references a marketing slogan for the Canadian prairies, while his leader agenda is named after Canada's overseas service force in World War I.
- Like Teddy Roosevelt, Wilfrid Laurier wears pince-nez glasses.
The Sunny Way
Win a game as Wilfrid Laurier