Archive for the ‘Clark’ Category

Realistically, there were eight. Four of them were francophones: Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Louis St. Laurent, Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chretien. Four were English: Joe Clark, Brian Mulroney, Paul Martin and Stephen Harper.

The PM with the broadest facility for languages was English-speaking Sir Robert Borden who had a working knowledge of French, German, Greek and Latin.


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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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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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Eight of the country’s 22 PMs were under the age of 50 when assuming office.

3rd youngest Prime Minister — Arthur Meighen, 46. PMs Kim Campbell and Stephen Harper were also 46 on assuming office.

2nd youngest Prime Minister — Brian Mulroney, 45.

Youngest Prime Minister — Joe Clark, 39. He turned 40 the day after becoming PM.

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1973 — Rookie MP Joe Clark and one of his staffers, Maureen McTeer, are married quietly. He had hired the University of Ottawa Arts student, then 20, after she had been let go from the Conservatives’ Parliamentary research staff for moonlighting too heavily in last fall’s election campaign.

When Clark eventually asked McTeer out for dinner, she assumed he was likely going to be letting her go, again. She was juggling Clark’s constituency work with a slew of night courses to finish her degree. But the ‘date’ blossomed into a short, intense romance resulting in an early summer wedding. She retains her last name, the only wife of a PM to have done so.

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1993 — Justice Minister Kim Campbell wins the Progressive Conservative Leadership Convention on the second ballot to become party leader. Her win over Jean Charest means she will succeed Brian Mulroney as Canada’s first female Prime Minister.

Campbell went into the convention as the party favourite. Other potential contenders, like Joe Clark and Michael Wilson, opted not to take her on. Even Charest had to be talked into being a candidate.

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