John Oliver, politician, premier of BC 1918-27 (b at Hartington, Eng 31 July 1856; d at Victoria 17 Aug 1927). Coming to Ontario with his family in 1870, he moved to BC in 1877 and took up a farm in Delta. After serving in local politics he was elected to the BC legislature in 1900 and became leader of the opposition, but lost his seat in the 1909 election. Re-elected in the sweeping 1916 Liberal victory, he was appointed minister of agriculture and railways.
On Harlan BREWSTER's death in 1918, Oliver became the province's 19th premier (6 March), remaining in office until his own death. Known as "Honest John," he was a plain man of considerable integrity but not an innovative politician. He governed BC through the difficult readjustments after WWI and the economic stagnation of the early 1920s. He was involved in efforts to develop fruit growing in the OKANAGAN VALLEY, to solve the problems of the financially troubled Pacific Great Eastern Ry, and to secure freight-rate concessions from the federal government. Late in his premiership, he passed some social legislation. The village of OLIVER, BC as well as several landmarks in the province and Mount John Oliver are named for him.