Ian Alistair Mackenzie
Ian Alistair Mackenzie, politician (b at Assynt, Scot 27 July 1890; d at Banff, Alta 2 Sept 1949). After sitting in the BC Assembly 1920-30, the gregarious Mackenzie entered Parliament in Ottawa. He was minister of national defence, 1935-39, overseeing the rearmament of Canada's armed forces. Although a superb constituency politician, he was not (as the Bren gun scandal illustrated) an effective minister, and he was swept aside upon the outbreak of war.
As minister of pensions and national health, 1939-44, Mackenzie pushed for the expansion of social benefits. He was not sufficiently influential, however, to seize leadership of the social reform movement. As BC's representative in the Cabinet, he was the key figure in the decision to intern Japanese Canadians. Minister of veterans affairs, 1944-Jan 1948, Mackenzie entered the Senate in 1948.