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List

30 Political Leaders

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, The Canadian Encyclopedia created 30 lists of 30 things that have helped define our identity, from famous people and historic events, to iconic foods and influential artists.

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A. Allison Dysart

A. Allison Dysart, lawyer, politician, judge, premier of New Brunswick (b at Cocagne, NB 22 Mar 1880; d at Moncton, NB 8 Dec 1962). Educated at Ontario Agricultural Coll, St Joseph's University and Dalhousie, he practised law in Bouctouche.

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Abraham Albert Heaps

Abraham Albert Heaps, labour politician (b at Leeds, England 24 Dec 1885; d at Bournemouth, England 4 Apr 1954). An impoverished English Jew who immigrated to Canada in 1911, Heaps, an upholsterer, became a distinguished parliamentarian as member for Winnipeg North from 1925-40.

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Abraham Kean

Abraham Kean (Abram), "Killer Kean," master mariner, legislative councillor (b at Flowers Island, Newfoundland 8 July 1855; d at St John's Nfld 18 May 1945).

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Abraham Okpik

​Abraham “Abe” Okpik, OC, Inuit community leader (born 12 January 1929 in the Mackenzie Delta area, Northwest Territories; died 10 July 1997 in Iqaluit, Nunavut).

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Acheson Gosford Irvine

Acheson Gosford Irvine, soldier, police officer, prison warden (b at Québec C 7 Dec 1837; d there 9 Jan 1916). The third commissioner of the NWMP, Irvine's reputation was ruined by the North-West Rebellion.

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Adrien Arcand

Adrien Arcand, journalist, demagogue and fascist (b at Québec City 1899; d at Montréal 1 Aug 1967). A fanatical and shrill-voiced follower of Adolf Hitler, Arcand edited several newspapers and founded and led a series of far-right Québec-based political parties.

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Adrienne Clarkson

Adrienne Louise Clarkson, PC, CC, CMM, COM, CD, 26th governor general of Canada 1999–2005, television personality, journalist, novelist, public servant, publisher (born 10 February 1939 in Hong Kong). In 1999, Clarkson was appointed as Canada’s 26th governor general by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. She was the first racialized person, the first person of Asian heritage and the first without a political or military background appointed to the vice-regal position. Her appointment came after an award-winning career in broadcast and print journalism, where she was best known as host and reporter of CBC’s the fifth estate. After her tenure as governor general, Clarkson and her husband, John Ralston Saul, launched the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, an organization that aims to accelerate the cultural integration of new citizens into Canadian society. She is the author of two novels and five works of nonfiction.

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Adélard Godbout

Joseph-Adélard Godbout, agronomist, professor, leader of the Quebec Liberal Party and premier of Québec (born 24 September 1892 in Saint-Éloi, Québec; died 18 September 1956 in Montréal, Québec).

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Agnes Macphail

Agnes Campbell Macphail, politician, reformer (born 24 March 1890 in Proton Township, Grey County, ON; died 13 February 1954 in Toronto, ON). Agnes Macphail was the first woman elected to the House of Commons (1921–40) and was one of the first two women elected to the Ontario legislature (1943–45, 1948–51).

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Alan Eagleson

Robert Alan Eagleson, lawyer (b at St Catharines, Ont 24 Apr 1933). In 1966, as hockey's first player agent, he negotiated Bobby Orr's first contract with the Boston Bruins, a $70 000 deal that made the 18-year-old rookie the highest-paid player in professional hockey.

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Albert Charles Saunders

Albert Charles Saunders, lawyer, politician, judge, premier of PEI (b at Summerside, PEI 12 Oct 1874; d there 18 Oct 1943). Saunders, having completed 4 terms as mayor of Summerside, became the Liberal Party leader in 1923, winning the 1927 election by supporting continuing liquor prohibition.

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Albert Edgar Hickman

Albert Edgar Hickman, businessman, politician (b at Grand Bank, Nfld 2 Aug 1875; d at St John's 9 Feb 1943). Newfoundland's seventeenth prime minister, he held that office for just 33 days from 10 May to 11 June 1924, the shortest administration in Newfoundland's history.

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Albert Grey, 4th Earl Grey

Albert Henry George Grey, 4th Earl Grey, governor general of Canada from 1904 to 1911 (born 28 November 1851 in London, United Kingdom; died 29 August 1917 in Howick, Northumberland, United Kingdom). Earl Grey established awards that honour Canadian arts, drama and sports. The Grey Cup is still presented to the winning team of the Canadian Football League championship.

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Albert Jackson

Albert Jackson, letter carrier (born c. 1857–58 in Delaware; died 14 January 1918 in Toronto , ON). Albert Jackson is thought to be the first Black letter carrier in Canada (see Postal System). Jackson was born into enslavement in the United States, and escaped to Canada with his mother and siblings when he was a toddler in 1858. In 1882, Jackson was hired as a letter carrier in Toronto, but his co-workers refused to train him on the job. While his story was debated in the press for weeks, the Black community in Toronto organized in support of Jackson, meeting with Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald to have Jackson reinstated. Jackson returned to his post days later and served as a letter carrier for almost 36 years.

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Albert Jean de Grandpré

Albert Jean De Grandpré, lawyer, business executive (b at Montréal 14 Sept 1921). Educated at Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf (BA 1940) and McGill University (BLC 1943), he practised insurance law in Québec during 1943-66 before joining Bell Canada as general counsel.

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Albert Johnson, “The Mad Trapper of Rat River”

Albert Johnson, also known as the “Mad Trapper,” outlaw (born circa 1890–1900, place of birth unknown; died 7 February 1932 in Yukon). On 31 December 1931, an RCMP constable investigating a complaint about traplines was shot and seriously wounded by a trapper living west of Fort McPherson, NT. The ensuing manhunt — one of the largest in Canadian history — lasted 48 days and covered 240 km in temperatures averaging -40°C. Before it was over, a second policeman was badly wounded and another killed. The killer, tentatively but never positively identified as Albert Johnson, was so skilled at survival that the police had to employ bush pilot Wilfrid “Wop” May to track him. The Trapper’s extraordinary flight from the police across sub-Arctic terrain in the dead of winter captured the attention of the nation and earned him the title “The Mad Trapper of Rat River.” No motive for Johnson’s crimes has ever been established, and his identity remains a mystery.

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