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Sir John A. Macdonald

Sir John Alexander Macdonald, first prime minister of Canada (1867–73, 1878–91), lawyer, businessman, politician, (born 10 or 11 Jan 1815 in Glasgow, Scotland; died 6 June 1891 in Ottawa). 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.

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James K. Bartleman

James Karl Bartleman, OC, OOnt, diplomat, author, lieutenant governor of Ontario 2002–07 (born 24 December 1939 in Orillia, ON). James K. Bartleman spent nearly 40 years as a career diplomat, serving as high commissioner and ambassador to many countries, including South Africa, Cuba and Israel, and as a foreign policy advisor to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. A member of the Mnjikaning First Nation, he became Ontario’s first Indigenous lieutenant-governor in 2002. Bartleman’s tenure as lieutenant-governor was highlighted by his advocacy for literacy and education in Indigenous communities and his efforts to end the stigma around mental illness.

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Sir Mackenzie Bowell

Mackenzie Bowell, KCMG, editor, publisher, politician and prime minister of Canada 1894–96 (born 27 December 1823 in Rickinghall, Suffolk, England; died 10 December 1917 in Belleville, Ontario). Bowell was a prominent Orangeman and served as Grand Master of the Orange Order in British North America from 1870 to 1878. He was a newspaper editor and publisher before entering federal politics. Bowell represented North Hastings in Canadian Parliament from 1867 to 1892 and was a Conservative senator from 1892 to 1917. He served as Conservative prime minister from 21 December 1894 to 27 April 1896 and was one of only two federal leaders to direct government from the Senate rather than the House of Commons. Pressure from his own Cabinet forced Bowell’s resignation in 1896; he was the only prime minister to suffer that fate. However, he remained a senator until his death.

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Bill Davis

William Grenville Davis, PC, CC, OOnt, lawyer, politician, premier of Ontario 1971–85 (born 30 July 1929 in at Brampton, ON; died 8 August 2021 in Brampton). Known as “Brampton Billy” and as Ontario’s “education premier,” Bill Davis served as minister of education from 1962 to 1971 and as premier from 1971 to 1985. His government established Ontario’s system of community colleges; founded several universities and colleges, including the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE); and created public education broadcaster TVOntario. Davis also created the first environment ministry in Canada and played a key role in the patriation of Canada’s constitution.

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Henri Bourassa

Henri Bourassa, politician, journalist (born 1 Sept 1868 in Montreal; died 31 Aug 1952 in Montreal). Henri Bourassa was an important Canadian nationalist leader who supported Canada’s increased independence from the British Empire. Bourassa was also an advocate for French Canadian rights within Canada.

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George Edwin King

George Edwin King, lawyer, politician, judge, premier of NB 1872-78 (b at Saint John 8 Oct 1839; d at Ottawa 7 May 1901). First elected MLA for Saint John in 1867, he was minister without portfolio in the Confederation Cabinet of A.R. WETMORE.

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George Luther Hatheway

George Luther Hatheway, farmer, lumberman, politician, premier of NB (b at Musquash, NB 4 Aug 1813; d at Fredericton 5 July 1872). Elected in 1850 as Reform MLA for York and defeated in 1857, he was re-elected in 1861 and named chief commissioner of public works by S.L. TILLEY.

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Daniel Lionel Hanington

Daniel Lionel Hanington, lawyer, politician, premier of NB (b at Shediac, NB 27 June 1835; d at Dorchester, NB 5 May 1909). Clerk of circuits 1867-70 and a school trustee, he first sat as a Liberal-Conservative MLA for Westmorland in 1870.

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James Anderson

James Thomas Milton Anderson, educator, author, premier of Saskatchewan (b at Fairbank, Ont 23 July 1878; d at Saskatoon 29 Dec 1946).

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Ernest Lapointe

Ernest Lapointe, politician (born 6 October 1876 in St-Éloi, QC; died 26 November 1941 in Montréal). Under Prime Minister Mackenzie King, Lapointe was minister of marine and fisheries (1921-24), minister of justice (1924-30, 1935-41), and was recognized as King's Québec lieutenant and his most influential adviser.

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Henry Hicks

Henry Davies Hicks, lawyer, politician, university president, philatelist, premier of NS 1954-56 (b at Bridgetown, NS 5 Mar 1915; d at St Croix, NS 9 Dec 1990).

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Howard Ferguson

George Howard Ferguson, lawyer, Conservative politician, premier of Ontario 1923-30 (b at Kemptville, Ont 18 June 1870; d at Toronto 21 Feb 1946). He personified Ontario in the 1920s: a mix of 19th-century values and 20th-century ambitions.

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Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada

Missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada (MMIWG) refers to a human rights crisis that has only recently become a topic of discussion within national media. Indigenous women and communities, women’s groups and international organizations have long called for action into the high and disproportionate rates of violence and the appalling numbers of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada. Prior to the launch of the national public inquiry on 8 December 2015, these calls were continually ignored by the federal government. Described by some as a hidden crisis, Dawn Lavell-Harvard, former president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, refers to MMIWG as a national tragedy and a national shame. In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada supported the call for a national public inquiry into the disproportionate victimization of Indigenous women and girls. The National Inquiry’s Final Report was completed and presented to the public on 3 June 2019.

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Alfred Schmitz Shadd

Alfred Schmitz Shadd, educator, physician, farmer, politician, pharmacist, editor, civic leader (born 1870 in Raleigh Township, Kent County, ON; died 1915 in Winnipeg, MB).

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René Lévesque

René Lévesque, premier of Québec 1976-85, politician, journalist, nationalist (born 24 Aug 1922 in Campbellton, NB; died 1 November 1987 in Montréal, QC).

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John Tory

John Tory is a long-time political figure in Ontario. He was elected the 65th mayor of Toronto in 2014.