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Archive for September, 2010

Five of the seven Prime Ministers still living are Roman Catholics. Although, historically, most Catholic leaders tended to be French Canadians, that profile began to disappear by the late 1970s. Of the five living Catholic PMs — Joe Clark, John Turner, Brian Mulroney, Jean Chretien and Paul Martin — only one is French Canadian.

For the record, we have had 9 Roman Catholics (the others are Thompson, Laurier, St. Laurent, Trudeau), 4 Anglicans (Abbott, Tupper, Borden, Campbell), 3 Presbyterians (Macdonald, Meighen, King), 3 Methodists/Uniteds (Bowell, Bennett, Pearson), 2 Baptists (Mackenzie, Diefenbaker), and 1 Christian & Missionary Alliance (Harper) in the Prime Minister’s office.

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Interested in being the Canadian Prime Minister? Consider becoming a lawyer. That’s the exactly the kind of job training two-thirds of the country’s leaders had prior to their shift into politics. Prime Ministers called to the bar were Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir John Abbott, Sir John Thompson, Sir WIlfrid Laurier, Sir Robert Borden, Arthur Meighen, R.B. Bennett, Louis St. Laurent, John Diefenbaker, Pierre Trudeau, John Turner, Brian Mulroney, Kim Campbell, Jean Chretien, and Paul Martin.

All five Prime Ministers named John were lawyers.

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Every Canadian Prime Minister has served as a Member of Parliament prior to assuming the leadership, but five of them — all Conservatives — reached the top job with no experience as a cabinet minister. They are Sir Robert Borden, John Diefenbaker, Joe Clark, Brian Mulroney and Stephen Harper.

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Arthur Meighen died in 1960, nearly 34 years after completing his second term as Prime Minister in 1926. The only other former Prime Minister to live more than three decades after resigning is Joe Clark, who was PM 30 years ago. And his meter is still running.

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Seven of Canada’s 22 Prime Ministers have represented Quebec while leading the country (Abbott, Laurier, St. Laurent, Trudeau, Mulroney, Chretien and Martin), making it the most fertile ground for leaders since Confederation.

Three provinces have had no Prime Ministers serving in Ottawa (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland), although King was a PEI  MP before becoming PM. None of the territories have been represented by the country’s leader.

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