Buchanan, John MacLennan

John MacLennan Buchanan, lawyer, politician, premier of NS (b at Sydney, NS 22 Apr 1931). Elected to the NS Assembly 1967 and appointed to the Cabinet 1969, Buchanan was chosen provincial Conservative leader 1971. He lost the election of 1974, but led his party to victory in 1978, added to its majority in 1981, and won by a landslide in 1984.

As premier, his concerns had been revitalizing Sysco, the publicly owned steel plant, controlling domestic energy costs, increasing coal production by opening new mines, developing offshore mineral resources, and proposing, at least tentatively, the transmission of coal-generated power by underwater cable to New England. His government also successfully promoted a pilot tidal project at the head of the Annapolis Basin, the first step towards harnessing Fundy tides. He was awarded an honorary LLD by St Francis Xavier U in 1986.

Another election victory followed in 1988 but 10 years of governing had taken its toll on his administration. Mounting debt and financial scandals seemed to sap the strength of his government. Buchanan accepted a Senate seat in 1990 and resigned as premier.