Fonds Joseph-Israël Tarte

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Document Record

Tarte, Joseph-Israël, 1848-1907.
Fonds Joseph-Israël Tarte
MG 27 IID 16
Document source
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
Joseph Israël Tarte (1848 -1907) was a Canadian politician and journalist. Tarte came to prominence as editor of several newspapers: Le Canadien, L'Événement, La Patrie and the Quebec Daily Mercury. Tarte sat as a member of the Quebec legislative assembly from 1877 to 1881. Tarte entered federal politics and he was elected to the Canadian House of Commons in the 1891 federal election as a Conservative. In parliament, Tarte accused the Conservatives of bad faith in the Manitoba Schools Question. Tarte was unseated in 1892 due to a court challenge to his election, but re-entered parliament the next year as an independent. He was soon invited by Wilfrid Laurier (1841 - 1919) to join the Liberals. When the Liberals took power following the 1896 federal election, Laurier appointed Tarte to Cabinet as Minister of Public Works. As such, Tarte dispensed patronage, helped solidify ties with the business community in Montreal and developed the Port of Montreal. Later in his political career, Tarte opposed Canadian involvement in the Boer War and called for greater Canadian independence from Britain. Despite that, he later opposed Liberal policy on reciprocity, campaigning instead for greater economic unity of the British Empire and higher tariffs. This resulted in Laurier dismissing Tarte for breaking Cabinet solidarity. Tarte's protectionism brought him back to the Conservative Party, and Tarte briefly became the Conservative Party's Quebec organizer for two by-elections. However, he chose not to run for re-election himself in the 1904 federal election. After his political career, he then returned to journalism.
This collection consists of letters from Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier, general political correspondence relating to the Department of Public Works, colonization, and political favors. It also contains personal correspondence and family albums.