Archive for November, 2009

nov302004Kim Campbell becomes the 18th Prime Minister to have a portrait unveiled in the Centre Block of Parliament Hill. Painted by David Goatley of British Columbia, the Campbell canvas shows the first female Prime Minister surrounded by legal, academic and First Nations robes — all symbols of parts of her career.

Campbell arrives 45 minutes late for the unveiling, held up by protesters on Parliament Hill demontrating against the visit of U.S. President George W. Bush. Prime Minister Paul Martin indicates he’s honoured to be adding a female presence to the corridor.


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nov291848 — Louise Mahamah Bowell, the first child of The Intelligencer publisher Mackenzie Bowell, is born in Belleville. In all, Bowell will have six daughters and three sons; five of whom survive to adulthood.

Louise’s middle name is shared with Bowell’s younger sister. She eventually marries James Jamieson who becomes president of his father-in-law’s newspaper, The Intelligencer. After Bowell’s term as Prime Minister, the Jamiesons move to the midwest United States.

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nov282005 — For the first time in Canadian history, a federal government is defeated in a straight no-confidence vote. The vote wasn’t linked to any legislation. It was simply a case of the three opposition parties voting against the Liberal minority government of Paul Martin.

The vote seemed inevitable after Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party, informed Martin that future NDP support for the Liberals would depend on a ban on private health care, as well as a several other conditions. Martin refused, opening the way for the no-confidence motion made by the Leader of the Opposition, Stephen Harper.

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nov272000Jean Chrétien becomes the first Prime Minister since William Lyon Mackenzie King to win three majorities in a row. In Canada’s 37th federal election, Chrétien continues to benefit from a divided opposition.

The new Canadian Alliance party made up of the former Reform party and some Conservatives manages to pick up a few additional seats under new leader Stockwell Day. But the Progressive Conservatives under Joe Clark refuse to join the new coalition and find their presence in the House reduced to 12 seats — the number needed to hang on to their official party status.

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nov261857John A. Macdonald becomes premier of the United Province of Canada for the first and only time. As Attorney-General of Canada West (Ontario) he has been functioning as deputy premier to Sir Etienne Taché. However, Taché is tired and his move to semi-retirement has boosted Macdonald to the top political post.

Macdonald’s new deputy, or co-premier, is the Attorney-General for Canada East (Quebec), Georges-Eitenne Cartier, in an administration that lasts less than a year. Although Macdonald is the leader of Canada West from 1858 to 1862 and again from 1864 to 1867, he is officially the deputy to Cartier, then Taché, and finally Sir Narcisse Belleau.

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nov251904 — Jean St. Laurent, the Quebec Liberal candidate for Compton, loses the provincial election to the Conservative incumbent Allan Giard. He receives almost no support from the provincial Liberals who not want to field candidates against the few Conservatives who were prepared to flout their party’s election boycott.

Although the Liberals urged him not to run, he felt he was owed the courtesy. After all, he had agreed to help elect his Liberal colleague, Aylmer Hunt, to the federal Compton seat only weeks earlier in return for support in his provincial campaign. It didn’t happen and he lost by 148 votes. The experience sours him on politics, as it does for his 22-year-old son, Louis St. Laurent, who actively campaigned for him.

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nov241892 — Prime Minister Sir John Abbott, diagnosed with stomach cancer while visiting England for medical advice, sent a letter of resignation to his House leader back in Ottawa, Sir John Thompson. The letter is to be used at Thompson’s convenience.

Announcing the resignation, Thompson becomes Prime Minister. He assumes the role he has virtually been exercising for past year and a half, since Abbott was a member of the Senate and not an MP.

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