George Harris Hees

George Harris Hees, politician (b at Toronto 17 June 1910; d there 12 June 1996). One of the DIEFENBAKER ministers who resigned during the February 1963 crisis, Hees was an able and energetic promoter of Canada.

Hees, George Harris

George Harris Hees, politician (b at Toronto 17 June 1910; d there 12 June 1996). One of the DIEFENBAKER ministers who resigned during the February 1963 crisis, Hees was an able and energetic promoter of Canada. A businessman and athlete, he was elected to Parliament as MP for Broadview (Toronto) in 1950, and held the seat until 1963. Contrary to the wishes of the Tory establishment, who saw him as a brash playboy, he was elected national party president in 1953; his successful tenure was marked by visits and speeches in all parts of the country.

Appointed minister of transport in 1957, he was an able administrator; in 1960 he became minister of trade and commerce and immediately organized a successful export drive. Hees did not stand for election in 1963, but was returned for Northumberland in 1965. He ran unsuccessfully for the Tory leadership in 1967. He was appointed minister of veterans affairs by Brian MULRONEY in 1984 and in mid-1987 received an additional portfolio as minister of state for senior citizens. Hees retired from politics prior to the 1988 general election and was named an Officer in the Order of Canada in 1989.