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.
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.
In 1969, the federal government released the Statement of the Government of Canada on Indian Policy, otherwise known as the 1969 White Paper. It proposed the elimination of separate legal status for Aboriginal people in Canada and called for their assimilation into mainstream Canadian society.
Stephen Kakfwi, Dene leader, politician, premier of the Northwest Territories 2000–2003 (born 1950 near Fort Good Hope, NT). Kakfwi attended residential schools in Inuvik, Yellowknife and Fort Smith. He achieved national prominence because of his forceful appearance before the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry. In the mid-1970s he argued passionately that the proposed construction of a pipeline across the traditional homeland of the Dene people before the settlement of their land claims would destroy their way of life as well as damage the natural environment of the region.
Stuart Sinclair Garson, lawyer, politician, premier of Manitoba (b at St Catharines, Ont 1 Dec 1898; d at Winnipeg 5 May 1977). After moving to Winnipeg as a child, he attended the Manitoba Law School, was called to the bar in 1919 and practised law at Ashern and Eriksdale, Manitoba, until 1936.
Sir William Fenwick Williams, army officer (b at Annapolis Royal, NS 4 Dec 1800; d at London, Eng 26 July 1883). A British officer on loan to the Turkish army, Williams became a hero in 1855 when he led the determined, though unsuccessful, defence of Kars against Russia during the CRIMEAN WAR.
John Skirving Ewart, lawyer, publicist (b at Toronto, 11 Aug 1849; d at Ottawa 21 Feb 1933). Educated at Upper Canada College and Osgoode Hall, Toronto, Ewart moved to Winnipeg to practise law in 1882. He was counsel for the French-speaking minority in the MANITOBA SCHOOLS dispute, 1890-96.
George Henry Murray, lawyer, politician, premier of Nova Scotia (b at Grand Narrows, NS 7 June 1861; d at Montréal 6 Jan 1929). Murray's unbroken 27 years in power (1896-1923) is a British Empire and Commonwealth record. Leadership of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party fell to Murray when W.S.