John George Bourinot

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John George Bourinot

John George Bourinot (15 March 1814 – 19 January 1884) was a French Canadian merchant and politician, a member of the first Canadian Senate.

Born in Grouville, Jersey, he was educated in Jersey and in Caen in Normandy and emigrated as a young man to Sydney, Nova Scotia, where he opened a business as a ship chandler. In 1834, shortly after his arrival there, he was appointed French vice-consul and also worked as an agent for Lloyd's of London. In 1835, he married Margaret Ann Marshall, daughter of John George Marshall, from a politically influential local family. Together, they had eleven children.

In the 1840s, Bourinot lobbied unsuccessfully for the independence of Cape Breton Island from Nova Scotia. In 1859 he was elected as the Conservative MLA of Cape Breton County in Halifax. Bourinot eventually sided with Charles Tupper, voting for the Confederation Resolution in 1866, and was appointed by John A Macdonald as a Liberal-Conservative member of the first Canadian Senate.

His political career thereafter was unremarkable; Bourinot was mostly active in committee work. He died of a stroke in Ottawa, where he had wanted to attend the opening of parliament in 1884.

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