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QAHN's Letter to Canadian Heritage RE: the "Fossmobile" Project

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November 26, 2021

Hon. Pablo Rodriguez
MP, Honoré-Mercier
Minister of Canadian Heritage

RE: George Foote Foss and Canada’s First Gas-powered Automobile

Dear Minister Rodriguez,

Canada’s very first gasoline-powered automobile – the “Fossmobile” – was built right here in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Named for its builder, local resident George Foote Foss, this unusual vehicle was completed in 1897. The 125th anniversary of that momentous event takes place in 2022. Hence, Minister Rodriguez, the urgency of this letter to you.

The Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN), which is based in Sherbrooke, just a few kilometres from where Foss first tested his invention, wholeheartedly endorses any recognition and/or financial support that the Department of Canadian Heritage would be pleased to offer towards efforts by the Foss family to build a replica of the “Fossmobile” for public display, and ultimately for donation to the Canadian Automotive Museum. The plan is to complete the replica in time for Summer 2022 (the 125th anniversary of the original car), and to display it at community events around the country, including here in Sherbrooke.

In QAHN’s view, George Foote Foss absolutely deserves recognition by the Government of Canada as a Person of National Historic Significance. In the meantime, however, we urge you to at least give your support and endorsement to the proposal to develop a replica “Fossmobile” for the purpose of building public awareness of this important Canadian “first.”

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need further information,

Yours very sincerely,

Matthew Farfan
Executive Director