Yeah, they’re our leaders, past and present, the folks that brought us prosperity, controversy, scandal, and freedom. I wanted to look at the good and bad with each prime minister. Some you may hate or love, regardless they are road marks in the evolution of this miserably wonderful place we call home.
John A. Macdonald
He served 19 years as Prime minister, a feat only eclipsed by William Lyon Mackenzie King. Although considered a great leader he has taken criticism in the 21st century for his role in the Chinese Head tax and the Residential School System. Both discriminated against these minorities. But historians agree he was pivotal in the creation of Canada.
Trained as a Stonemason, he had a prosperous masonry business. He succeeded John A. Macdonald after Macdonald stepped down over the Pacific Scandal over bribes accepted by Conservative politicians. His government did improve conditions for Canadians, like establishing the Supreme Court of Canada.
He studied law and was one of Montreal’s prominent lawyers. He became Prime minister following John A. Macdonald’s death while in office. He was the first Canada born Prime minister. He retired due to illness. A successful businessman and politician, he pushed for libraries and institutions to help the poor and disabled. He wasn’t a big fan of politics and preferred to serve the nation.
John Sparrow David Thompson
A lawyer, judge and politician he was instrumental in the Canadian Criminal Code. Like John A. Macdonald, he also died in office. He also disliked politics, but was a eloquent orator.
A newspaper publisher and politician, after Thompson’s death he was appointed Prime minister. Although he served in Parliament for over fifty years, he was only Prime minister for less than 2 1/2 years, when his cabinet forced his resignation
Sir Charles Tupper
Before politics, he had a medical practice and drug store. Tupper was unfortunate to serve the shortest term as Prime minister, only ten weeks. He was instrumental in bringing Nova Scotia into the Confederation.
Canada’s first French-Canadian Prime minister considered as one of Canada’s greatest statesmen. H worked hard to unite Canada, a free country for both French and English. His fifteen year tenure is the longest term served by a Canadian Prime minister. His face adorns our five dollar bill. He promoted Western expansion with treaties, but his government did a bad job in their dealings with the aboriginal populations, largely ignoring their needs. His government also discouraged immigration for African American, Chinese, Japanese, and Indians.
Canada’s eighth Prime minister.1911 election slogan “A White Canada”, but his leadership during WW1 was remarkable. His government introduced the widely unpopular compulsory military service. He was the last Canadian prime minister to be knighted.
He was appointed prime minister after Borden resigned, his term was only one year. He did have a second term, but it only lasted 3 month after the Governor General had appointed him. Considered one of Parliament’s finest orators, but was inconsequential as Prime minister. Was considered to be a xenophobe and anti-communist. Responsible for some of the most contentious and important legislation of World War 1, notably compulsory conscription. After defeat, he returned to his law practice.
William Lyon Mackenzie King
He served three nonconsecutive terms as prime minister, and is best known for his leadership during WW2. He was never married, and held beliefs in spiritualism, and frequented mediums to contact dead friends and relatives . Historians argue that he was one of Canada’s greatest politicians based on his political acumen and devotion to Canadian unity.
Credited with creating the Bank of Canada and the Canadian Wheat Board, and the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission, which became the CBC. As a leader during the depression, he was widely criticized as ineffective. Jokes abounded, and scenes like a horse pulling a car (because owners couldn’t afford gas) was called a Bennett Buggy”.
Louis St. Laurent
A lawyer by occupation, he was the second French Canadian to be prime minister. He was a leading figure in the establishment of a UN military force. As a strong Canadian Nationalist, his government oversaw the creation of the Trans-Canada Highway, the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Trans-Canada Pipeline. He was popular with the media because of his appeal the common folks. He was a leading proponent to the creation of NATO., and was a staunch supporter of universal healthcare.
He was a noted criminal defense attorney before going into politics. He appointed the first female minister in Canadian history to his cabinet. He was also a Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Lester B. Pearson
He was a scholar, diplomat, statesman and soldier, and won the Nobel Peace Prize. His government launched universal health care, the Canada Pension Plan, and the Canada Student Loan Program. His government oversaw the creation of the Canadian maple leaf flag, and kept Canada out of the Vietnam war.
Canada’s third longest-serving Prime Minister, he was an a prominent activist, lawyer,and Quebec intellectual. His charm and flamboyant behavior with the media gave birth to “Trudeaumania”. He was a polarizing figure in Canadian politics, people liked him or hated him. Trudeau kept Quebec from separating from Canada and patriated Canada’s constitution and established the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
An unassuming man, Joe was a writer, businessman, statesman and politician, he was the youngest person to be prime minister for an albeit brief term. Because of his minority government he was unable to accomplish much, his term was cut short when parliament rejected the budget, but they did get in the Freedom of Information Act.
John was a lawyer and politician who held the office of prime minister for only 79 days, the second shortest tenure in Canadian history. He started a stir in the media over his relationship with Princess Margaret.
Known for the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement, and the introduction of the GST, his government also privatized a lot of the Crown Corporations. The 211 seats won in the 1984 election was the largest majority a Canadian party has ever held. His government passed the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. In his second term, his popularity waned, with a struggling economy and he resigned and Kim Campbell was appointed.
A writer, lawyer, diplomat and politician, she is the first and only Canadian female prime minister. Her term was the third shortest in Canadian history, likely because the lack of popularity the Conservative party had at the time. She’s had some controversy, where she posed in a suggestive photo, and after her career when she publicly stated that she hopes hurricane Dorian would hit Donald Trump’s Florida estate.
Jean was a lawyer and politician from Shawinigan, Quebec, and he phrased himself as the “little guy from Shawinigan”. He choked a anti-poverty protester at a National Flag of Canada Day, and earned a misnomer “the Shawinigan handshake”. His government passed bills for the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the Pest Control Products Act, and the Species At Risk Act. He was a colorful character popular across the country.
A lawyer, author and politician, he led a minority government that only lasted a few years. Likely caused by controversies like the Sponsorship scandal, and his reluctance to pass a bill to legalize same-sex marriage across Canada. He’ll likely be remembered for eliminating the federal deficit as finance minister.
Serving almost a decade as prime minister, he’s credited with reducing taxes and keeping the economy alive during a recession. But the prolonged recession made voters weary and eager for change. He reduced the GST from seven to five percent, and greatly reduced government spending helping Canada come out of the recession relatively stable.
The second youngest and only prime minister serving that is the child of a former prime minister. He moved the liberals from 36 seats to 184, the largest increase in Canadian politics. He brought about the Cannabis Act and initiated the Carbon Tax.