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  Diefenbaker, John
AffiliationProgressive Conservative  
<-  1977-01-01  
NameJohn Diefenbaker
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan , Canada
Born September 18, 1895
DiedAugust 16, 1979 (83 years)
Last ModifedCampari_007
Nov 19, 2020 01:24am
InfoJohn George Diefenbaker was the thirteenth Prime Minister of Canada. Born in Neustadt, Ontario, Canada, he received a B.A. in 1915, an M.A. in Political Science and Economics in 1916 and his LL.B. in 1919 from the University of Saskatchewan. Diefenbaker married Edna Brower (1901-1951) in 1929. In 1953 he married his second wife, Olive Palmer (1902-1976), who had a daughter from a previous marriage.

Diefenbaker served a brief stint in the army, acquiring the rank of Lieutenant in the 105th Saskatoon Fusiliers. He was called to the Saskatchewan Bar in 1919 and became a criminal lawyer, and served as King's Counsel in 1929. He worked in provincial politics as the leader of the Saskatchewan Conservative party from 1936-1938.

Diefenbaker was first elected to Parliament in 1940, led the national Progressive Conservative party from 1956-1967 and was Prime Minister of Canada from June 21, 1957, to April 22, 1963. Diefenbaker was a contestant in four Progressive Conservative leadership conventions held in 1943, 1948, 1956 and 1967. He served as delegate to the United Nations in 1952.

He was well known for not getting along with United States President John F. Kennedy, who thought Diefenbaker "boring". Diefenbaker's opinions on JFK were less refined, having been quoted as calling Kennedy "a boastful sonofabitch".

Diefenbaker made one of the most controversial decisions of the last century in Canada in 1959 when his government cancelled the development and manufacture of the Avro Arrow, a Mach 2 supersonic jet fighter built by A.V. Roe Canada (Avro), in Malton, Ontario, just west of Toronto. After cancelling the most technologically advanced aircraft in the world, the Canadian government purchased the American made Bomarc missile system which theoretically would help defend Canada in the event of a Soviet nuclear bomber attack from the north. The Bomarc missile program became obsolete prior to its installation in Canada.

Diefenbaker was also instrumental in bringing in the Canadian Bill of Rights in 1960. This was the first attempt to legally codify the basic rights of Canadian citizens, but because the Bill of Rights was not a constitutional amendment, it had little legal power and was largely ignored by the courts.

The Progressive Conservatives lost their majority in Parliament in the 1962 election. Immediately afterward, Diefenbaker began a program to reduce government spending, raising tariffs and bank interest rates accordingly. He then reorganised his Cabinet, moving Donald Fleming into the Minister of Justice/Solicitor General position, replacing him with George C. Nowlan. In September 1962, Diefenbaker attended the Conference of Commonwealth Prime Ministers in London, where he attacked Britain's prospective entry into the European Economic Community, stating it would be at the expense of Canada's increased economic dependence on the United States.

Diefenbaker lost the 1963 federal election to Lester Pearson and the Liberal Party. At the time, Diefenbaker believed it was due to a conspiracy by the Kennedy administration, but such fears were never substantiated. Diefenbaker continued on as party leader after the 1963 election, and to the surprise of many ran an aggressive campaign which held Pearson's Liberals to a minority government in the 1965 election, which Pearson called in the expectation of gaining a majority. Growing dissatisfaction with his leadership, however, led to the Progressive Conservative Party calling a leadership convention in 1967. Although Diefenbaker stood as a candidate for the leadership, he was defeated by Nova Scotia Premier Robert Stanfield. Diefenbaker retained his parliamentary seat for the next twelve years, until his death.

Diefenbaker died on August 16, 1979 in Ottawa, Ontario and is buried beside the Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker Centre at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.


Title Purchase Contributor

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor
Aug 29, 2011 01:00pm General Toronto man claims he's Diefenbaker's son   Article Monsieur 

Importance? 10.00000 Average


  05/22/1979 SK Parliament - Prince Albert Won 48.96% (+13.28%)
  07/08/1974 SK Parliament - Prince Albert Won 59.14% (+37.54%)
  10/30/1972 SK Parliament - Prince Albert Won 59.50% (+31.56%)
  06/26/1968 SK Parliament - Prince Albert Won 56.04% (+27.85%)
  09/09/1967 Progressive Conservative Party Leader Lost 0.00% (-54.27%)
  11/08/1965 SK Parliament - Prince Albert Won 65.06% (+47.47%)
  11/08/1965 CAN Prime Minister Lost 36.60% (-13.21%)
  11/08/1965 CAN Leader of the Opposition Won 72.39% (+56.72%)
  04/08/1963 SK Parliament - Prince Albert Won 71.39% (+57.88%)
  04/08/1963 CAN Prime Minister Lost 35.85% (-12.83%)
  04/08/1963 CAN Leader of the Opposition Won 69.85% (+52.21%)
  06/18/1962 SK Parliament - Prince Albert Won 70.78% (+54.62%)
  06/18/1962 CAN Prime Minister Won 43.94% (+6.44%)
  03/31/1958 SK Parliament - Prince Albert Won 72.13% (+55.30%)
  03/31/1958 CAN Prime Minister Won 78.79% (+60.61%)
  06/10/1957 SK Parliament - Prince Albert Won 53.08% (+28.17%)
  06/10/1957 CAN Prime Minister Won 42.26% (+2.64%)
  12/14/1956 Progressive Conservative Party Leader Won 60.28% (+29.67%)
  12/14/1956 CAN Leader of the Opposition Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  08/10/1953 SK Parliament - Prince Albert Won 44.07% (+13.17%)
  06/27/1949 SK Parliament - Lake Centre Won 48.67% (+18.88%)
  06/11/1945 SK Parliament - Lake Centre Won 41.54% (+6.09%)
  03/26/1940 SK Parliament - Lake Centre Won 36.29% (+1.70%)
  09/14/1926 SK Parliament - Prince Albert Lost 35.13% (-29.74%)
  10/29/1925 SK Parliament - Prince Albert Lost 23.30% (-27.91%)