An excerpt from The Beaverton Presents Glorious and/or Free: The True History of Canada. Available where books are sold.
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald has balanced the nation’s treasury this year by taking all his gin, scotch, wine, and beer bottles back to a liquor merchant in exchange for the tremendous sum of $27,038,948.16, putting the nation’s finances back into the black.
Boxes after boxes were carted out of Earnscliffe yesterday afternoon by the prime minister and his finance minister, the Honourable Archibald McLelan, who was responsible for keeping an accurate count of the empties.
After 19 years, the bottles took up most of the PM’s house, including three bedrooms, the study, and any free space on every desk. It took the pair four hours to recover all the Molson Brewing containers from the garage and shed.
“The prime minister has been saving up this investment for several years,” said a perspiring McLelan whilst carrying the boxes out of Macdonald’s buggy. “The number of empty bottles in the reading room alone will pay for the interest on the CPR, plus the ammunition used by the militia, and if I have accounted correctly, all MP salaries for the next five years.”
Macdonald was happy to receive a two-cent return on each empty he gave to the merchants. The country’s new surplus was, however, immediately spent on a keg of Sleeman’s.