Politics

Prime Ministers Of Canada Through History

Since 1867, 22 men and 1 woman have led Canada through some of the best of times and some of the worst of times.

The Canadian Prime Minister serves as the Canadian Head of Government. The official also serves as the Minister of the Crown, and the Governor General of Canada appoints the position. The appointment must have the support of a majority within the House of Commons. Canada has had 23 different people serve as Prime Minister since July of 1867. This article will take a look at the accomplishments and political careers of some of them.

Notable Prime Ministers

Sir John A. Macdonald, 1st PM of Canada

Sir John A. Macdonald was the first Prime Minister of Canada. He served from July of 1867 until November of 1873, and again from October of 1878 until June of 1891. During his time in office, he fostered the construction of a Transcontinental Railroad. The railroad became a central focus of the first Canadian government as a means of stimulating economic growth to avoid the mass emigration of its people to the United States. He also pioneered the plan that secured the transfer of Rupert’s Land and the Northwestern Territories to Canada, thus allowing the nation's borders to reach from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier, 7th PM of Canada

Sir Wilfrid Laurier was the seventh Prime Minister and served from July 11th, 1896 until October 6th, 1911. He was the first french speaking person to hold the position. He is responsible for expanding the country and negotiating a compromise between French and English Canada. He also signed the Naval Service Bill of 1910 which created the first Naval Service.

William Lyon Mackenzie King, 10th PM of Canada

The tenth Prime Minister of Canada was William Lyon Mackenzie King. Prime Minister King implemented relief acts in response to the Great Depression. These programs were the National Housing Act and the National Employment Commission. He saw the country through World War II, helped found the United Nations in 1945, and was the longest serving official in the history of Canada.

Kim Campbell, Canada's First Female PM

Next on the list of notable Canadian Prime Ministers is Kim Campbell who has the distinction of being the first woman to serve in the office. She only served from June 25, 1993 until November 4, 1993. During her brief time as Prime Minister, however, she achieved significant change. She consolidated the Ministries into Health, Canadian Heritage, and Public Security and cut the number of ministers from 35 to 23. Her appointment into office was just 4 short months prior to the 1993 election and although she was a popular Prime Minister, her party lost the election and she lost her seat as Prime Minister.

Summary of the Canadian Prime Minister Position

Interestingly enough, this office is not defined in any Canadian constitutional document. The Prime Minister and its functions are modeled after the same position in England. Generally speaking, the Prime Minister has always been someone who has served in Parliament, though this is not always the case. The position has neither age nor citizenship restrictions. As noted in the previous list, term limits are not defined and the person in power is to advise the Crown on how to execute the Royal Prerogative. The history of Prime Ministers in Canada is quite unique and full of interesting facts. Those Prime Ministers mentioned in the list have accomplished significant achievements for their country and their legacies will live on for the ages to come.

Prime Ministers Of Canada Through History

Prime Ministers Of CanadaYear(s) In Office
John A. Macdonald 1867-1873; 1878-1891
Alexander Mackenzie 1873-1878
John Abbot 1891-1892
John Thompson 1892-1894
Mackenzie Bowell 1894-1896
Charles Tupper 1896
Wilfrid Laurier 1896-1911
Robert Borden 1911-1920
Arthur Meighen 1920-1921; 1926
William Lyon Mackenzie King 1921-1926; 1926-1930; 1935-1948
R.B. Bennett 1930-1935
Louis St. Laurent 1948-1957
John Diefenbaker 1957-1963
Lester B. Pearson 1963-1968
Pierre Turdeau 1968-1979; 1980-1984
Joe Clark 1979-1980
John Turner 1984
Brian Mulroney 1984-1993
Kim Campbell 1993
Jean Chretien 1993-2003
Paul Martin 2003-2006
Stephen Harper 2006-2015
Justin Trudeau 2015-Present

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