Sir John Alexander Macdonald was the dominant creative mind which produced the British North America Act and the union of provinces which became Canada. As the first prime minister of Canada, he oversaw the expansion of the Dominion from sea to sea. His government dominated politics for a half century and set policy goals for future generations of political leaders.
Woodrow Stanley Lloyd, educator, politician, premier of Saskatchewan 1961-64 (b near Webb, Sask 16 July 1913; d at Seoul, South Korea 7 Apr 1972). Lloyd was best known for his fight for free universal medical care in Saskatchewan and for his contributions in the field of education.
Roy John Romanow, PC, OC, premier of Saskatchewan 1991-2001, lawyer, politician, author, royal commissioner (born 12 August 1939 in Saskatoon, SK). Romanow was a leading figure in the negotiations that led to the 1982 patriation of the Constitution and the creation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As premier, he restored Saskatchewan’s fiscal health in the 1990s. A passionate advocate for publicly-funded medicare, he headed the 2001-2002 Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada.
Ramon (Ray) John Hnatyshyn, PC, CC, governor general of Canada 1990-95, lawyer, lecturer, politician, (born 16 March 1934 in Saskatoon, SK; died 18 December 2002 in Ottawa). Described as a “man of the people,” the affable Ray Hnatyshyn opened the grounds of Rideau Hall to Canadians and made the office of governor general more genial and approachable than it had been under his predecessor. He called his appointment the greatest honour possible for an “average Canadian.”
Paul Edgar Philippe Martin, businessman, politician, prime minister 2003–06 (born 28 August 1938 in Windsor, ON). Paul Martin had a successful career in business as CEO and then owner of Canada Steamship Lines (renamed CSL Group), before entering politics. He was elected as a Liberal Member of Parliament in 1988, and served as Minister of Finance (1993–2002) under Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. In 2003, he succeeded Chrétien as Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party, but resigned in 2006 after losing the federal election to Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party. As prime minister, Martin spearheaded several initiatives, including the Kelowna Accord, a national child care program, health accords with the provinces and the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Faced with the tremendous economic and social problems of the GREAT DEPRESSION, Pattullo was innovative in extending the role of government. His frustration with the limitations of provincial power led to a battle with Ottawa that resulted in a reappraisal of Canadian federalism.
John MacLennan Buchanan, premier of Nova Scotia 1978–90, senator 1990–2006, lawyer (born 22 April 1931 in Sydney, NS). A master political campaigner, Buchanan was the longest-serving Conservative premier in Nova Scotian history, and was among the leaders who negotiated the accord to repatriate Canada’s Constitution in 1982.