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  Grafftey, W. Heward
AffiliationProgressive Canadian  
NameW. Heward Grafftey
Montreal, Québec , Canada
Website [Link]
Born August 05, 1928
DiedFebruary 11, 2010 (81 years)
ContributorUser 13
Last ModifedRMF
Feb 14, 2010 10:28pm
InfoWilliam Heward Grafftey is a Canadian politician and businessman. Grafftey received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Allison University, majoring in Political Science and History, and a Bachelor of Civil Law degree at McGill University. He was admitted to the Bar of the Province of Quebec.

Born in Montreal, Quebec, to a prosperous family, he was a cousin of artist Prudence Heward, and wrote "Chapter Four: Prudence Heward" in the 1996 book Portraits of a Life.

Grafftey was first elected to the Canadian House of Commons in the 1958 general election that elected John George Diefenbaker's Progressive Conservative Party in a landslide victory. A resident of the Eastern Townships, he was the Member of Parliament (MP) for the riding of Brome-Missisquoi from 1958 to 1968. From 1962 to 1963, Grafftey served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance. Due to his relatively short stature and impish looks, Grafftey earned the infamous nickname of "The Gnome from Brome," during his twenty years in politics.

In the 1964 Great Flag Debate, he was one of a handful of Conservative MPs who broke with leader John Diefenbaker to support the adoption of the Maple Leaf flag. Grafftey sat as a Tory MP from Montreal until losing his seat in the 1968 Trudeau landslide.

Grafftey returned to Parliament in the 1972 election, and was a candidate at the 1976 Progressive Conservative leadership convention, in which he placed last, with 33 votes. Like many of the other challengers in the race who were knocked off in the early ballots, Grafftey supported the eventual leadership race winner Joe Clark.

He served as Minister of State for Social Programs and Minister of State for Science and Technology in the short lived 1979-1980 government of Joe Clark before losing his seat in the 1980 election. Grafftey supported Clark in the 1983 PC leadership convention, and was largely shut-out of Quebec PC circles during the Mulroney years.

Grafftey attempted to return to Parliament in the 2000 election, but was unsuccessful. He came in third-place behind the Bloc Québécois challenger and Liberal incumbent MP Denis Paradis.

In 2002, he was one of the first Red Tories to openly call for Tory leader Joe Clark's resignation, offering himself as a replacement. Grafftey eventually ran as a marginal leadership candidate in the 2003 PC leadership contest. Grafftey ran on a campaign of shifting the PC Party's policies back to their traditional stances. He was opposed to the North American Free Trade Agreement and supported increased funding for social programs.

Grafftey's candidacy received some media attention largely because he was the only candidate in the race who was fluently bilingual (in English and French) and actually had government experience. Yet Grafftey's septuagenarianism was also mocked by political satirists at the time of his leadership race announcement as an indication of the lack of "new blood" in the PC Party. Grafftey withdrew several days prior to the vote for health reasons. Analysts suggest that Grafftey had 72 committed delegates largely hailing from several Montreal-area ridings. Most of Grafftey's delegates entered the convention as "undeclared delegates", although Grafftey did informally endorse David Orchard's leadership campaign on his own campaign website.

After the convention, Grafftey briefly re-entered the political spotlight by joining David Orchard and other former Tories in opposition to a proposed merger of the party with the Canadian Alliance. Grafftey still insists that he is a "Progressive Conservative". He has declared his intention to be a candidate for the Progressive Canadian Party, a minor group of former Progressive Conservatives, in the 39th Canadian federal election, which is expected to be held in 2005 or 2006.

Grafftey remains active in business circles, and is the CEO of SafetySense, a company that publishes basic safety booklets for businesses and schools.

In 2001, he wrote a book on the state of Canadian politics entitled, Democracy Challenged: How to End One-Party Rule in Canada.


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Date Category Headline Article Contributor
Feb 12, 2010 10:45am Obituary Ex-MP Heward Grafftey dies at 81  Article RMF 

Importance? 8.00000 Average


  01/23/2006 QC Parliament - Brome—Missisquoi Lost 3.96% (-34.37%)
  11/27/2000 QC Parliament - Brome—Missisquoi Lost 12.84% (-37.43%)
  02/22/1976 Progressive Conservative Party Leader Lost 0.00% (-51.41%)