Browse "Diplomats & Ambassadors"

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Antonio Barrette

Antonio J. Barrette, premier of Québec in 1960 and leader of the Union Nationale (born 26 May 1899 in Joliette, Québec; died 15 December 1968 in Montréal).

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Arnold Cantwell Smith

Arnold Cantwell Smith, diplomat (b at Toronto, Ont 18 Jan 1915; d there 7 Feb 1994). A Rhodes scholar who joined the Dept of External Affairs in 1943, he was posted to Russia, 1943-45, and he acted as secretary to the Kellock-Taschereau Royal Commission (see Igor Gouzenko).

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Arnold Heeney

Arnold Danford Patrick Heeney, public servant, diplomat (b at Montréal 5 Apr 1902; d at Ottawa 20 Dec 1970). A clergyman's son, he was educated at the University of Manitoba and Oxford.

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Blanche Margaret Meagher

Blanche Margaret Meagher, teacher, diplomat (b at Halifax, NS 27 Jan 1911; d there 25 Feb 1999). Meagher taught in Halifax 1932-42, when she became one of a few pioneering women in the Dept of External Affairs. She served under H.L.

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Cairine Wilson

Cairine Reay Wilson (née Mackay), senator, diplomat, philanthropist (born 4 February 1885 in Montreal, QC; died 3 March 1962 in Ottawa, ON). In 1930, the year after the success of the Persons Case, Wilson was the first woman appointed to the Senate of Canada. She helped found and run political organizations that encouraged women and youth to get involved in politics. From the 1930s onwards, Wilson advocated for the admission of European refugees to Canada.

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Canada’s Cold War Purge of LGBTQ from Public Service

Between the 1950s and 1990s, the Canadian government responded to national security concerns generated by Cold War tensions with the Soviet Union by spying on, exposing and removing suspected LGBTQ individuals from the federal public service. They were cast as social and political subversives and seen as targets for blackmail by communist regimes seeking classified government information. These characterizations were justified by arguments that people who engaged in same-sex relations suffered from a “character weakness” and had something to hide because their sexuality was not only considered a taboo but, under certain circumstances, was illegal. As a result, the RCMP investigated large numbers of people, many of whom were fired, demoted or forced to resign — even if they had no access to security information. These measures were kept out of public view to prevent scandal and to keep counter-espionage operations under wraps.

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E. Herbert Norman

E. Herbert Norman, diplomat, scholar (b at Karuizawa, Japan 1 Sept 1909; d at Cairo, Egypt 4 Apr 1957); he studied at University of Toronto and Harvard, and, having joined the Department of External Affairs (now Foreign Affairs and International Trade), was posted to Japan, 1940-42.

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Ed Schreyer

Edward Richard Schreyer, PC, CC, CMM, teacher, politician, diplomat, premier of Manitoba 1969-1977, governor general of Canada 1979-1984 (born 21 December 1935 in Beausejour, MB). Schreyer was the first New Democrat to form a government anywhere in Canada. He was also the first Manitoban to become governor general. In that post, Schreyer was a strong advocate of bilingualism, the environment and women’s equality, and sought to make Rideau Hall more accessible to Canadians.

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Edgar Ritchie

Albert Edgar Ritchie, diplomat (b at Andover, NB 20 Dec 1916). A Rhodes scholar who worked for the British government and United Nations in the 1940s, Ritchie was a member of the Department of External Affairs (now FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE), 1944-46, 1948-80.

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Elizabeth Pauline MacCallum

Elizabeth Pauline MacCallum, diplomat, scholar (b at Murash in the Ottoman Empire [Turkey] 20 June 1895; d at Ottawa 12 June 1985). The daughter of missionaries, MacCallum graduated from Queen's and Columbia and taught in the Yukon.

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Frank McKenna

Frank Joseph McKenna, PC, OC, ONB, lawyer, politician, businessman, diplomat, premier of New Brunswick 1987–97 (born 19 January 1948 in Apohaqui, NB). McKenna became premier in only the second complete election sweep in Canadian history. Once called the "tiny, perfect premier," his decade in office was marked by a heavy focus on job creation. Despite his popularity in Liberal Party circles, he rejected an opportunity to run for the leadership of the federal party, in favour of corporate directorship.

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Georges Vanier

Georges-Philéas Vanier, PC, governor general of Canada 1959-67, soldier, diplomat, (born 23 April 1888 in Montreal; died 5 March 1967 in Ottawa). Vanier was the first French Canadian to serve as governor general. As a diplomat, he and his wife helped many Europeans displaced by the Second World War. A devout Christian, he urged love and unity amid the emergence of Quebec separatism in the 1960s. In 1988 he was named the most important Canadian in history by Maclean’s magazine.

Macleans

Gordon Giffin (Profile)

Those who have done business or politics with Gordon Giffin over the years use roughly the same set of adjectives to describe the 49-year-old Atlanta lawyer who is now the United States' ambassador to Canada. Serious. Analytical. Discreet. Extremely hardworking.