The Prime Minister of Canada is appointed by the Governor General. The appointee is usually the leader of the majority party. There are no age or citizenship restrictions on becoming the prime minister. There is no legal requirement for the prime minister to be a member of parliament. However, if the appointee is not already a Member of Parliament, then it is usually expected that they will soon win a seat. In rare circumstances people who are not sitting members of the House of Commons have been appointed to Prime Minister of Canada. Sir John Joseph Caldwell Abbott and Sir Mackenzie Bowell were both members of the Senate and served in the late 1800’s. They both replaced prime ministers who died in office.
The prime minister is the most politically powerful member of the Canadian government. The Prime Minster of Canada is the head of government and responsible for advising the Crown on how to exercise the Royal Prerogative and its executive powers. The prime minster controls the appointments of the governor general, the cabinet, justices of the Supreme Court, senators, heads of crown corporations, ambassadors to foreign countries, the provincial lieutenant governors, and about 3,000 other positions. The prime minister originates most of the bills sent to parliament and plays an important role in the leadership of The Canadian Armed Forces.
Here is a list of all the past and present Prime Ministers of Canada:
Top row, left to right.
- Sir John Alexander Macdonald: Born 1/10/1815, Glasgow, Scotland. 1st. Prime Minister from 6/1/1867 to 11/6/1873 and again from 10/17/1878 to 6/6/1891. Died 6/6/1891 from heart failure.
- Alexander Mackenzie: Born 1/28/1822, Dunkeld, Scotland. 2nd. Prime Minister from 11/7/1873 to 10/16/1878. Died 4/17/1892 from a stroke.
- Sir John Joseph Caldwell Abbott: Born 3/12/1821, St. Andrews East, Quebec (lower Canada) 3rd. Prime Minister from 6/16/1891 to 12/5/1892. Died 10/30/1893 from cancer.
- Sir John Sparrow David Thompson: Born 11/10/1845, Halifax, Nova Scotia. 4th. Prime Minister from 12/5/1892 to 12/12/1894. Died 12/12/1894 from heart failure.
- Sir Mackenzie Bowell: Born 12/27/1823, Rickinghall, England. 5th. Prime Minister from 12/21/1894 to 4/27/1896. Died 12/10/1917 from pneumonia.
Second row, left to right
- Sir Charles Tupper: Born 7/2/1821, Amherst, Nova Scotia. 6th Prime Minister from 5/1/1896 to 7/8/1896. Died 10/30/1915 from heart failure.
- Sir Wilfrid Laurier: Born 11/10/1841, St-Lin, Canada East (Quebec). 7th. Prime Minister from 7/11/1896 to 10/6/1911. Died 2/17/1919 from a stroke.
- Sir Robert Laird Borden: Born 6/26/1854, Grand Pre, Nova Scotia. 8th. Prime Minister from 10/10/1911 to 7/10/1920. Died 6/10/1937 from heart failure.
- Arthur Meighen: Born 6/16/1874, Anderson, Ontario. 9th. Prime Minister from 7/10/1920 to 12/29/1926 and again from 5/29/1926 to 9/25/1926. Died 8/5/1960 from heart failure.
- William Lyon Mackenzie King: Born 12/17/1874, Kitchener, Ontario. 10th. Prime Minister from 12/29/1921 to 6/28/1926 and again from 9/25/1926 to 8/7/1930 and yet again from 10/23/1935 to 11/15/1948. Died 7/22/1950 from pneumonia.
Third row left to right
- Richard Bedford Bennett: Born 7/3/1870, Hopewell Hill, New Brunswick. 11th. Prime Minister from 8/7/1930 to 10/23/1935. Died 6/26/1947 from heart failure.
- Louis Stephen St. Laurent: Born 2/1/1882, Compton, Quebec. 12th. Prime Minister from 11/15/1948 to 6/21/1957. Died 7/25/1973 from heart failure.
- John George Diefenbaker: Born 9/18/1895, Neustadt, Ontario. 13th. Prime Minister from 6/21/1957 to 4/22/1963. Died 8/16/1979 from heart failure.
- Lester Bowles Pearson: Born 4/23/1897, Newtonbrook, Ontario. 14th. Prime Minister from 4/22/1963 to 4/20/1968. Died 12/27/1972 from cancer. Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for settling the Suez Crisis.
- Pierre Elliot Trudeau: Born 10/18/1919, Montreal, Quebec. 15th. Prime Minister from 4/20/1968 to 6/3/1979 and again from 3/3/1980 to 6/30/1984. Died 9/28/2000 from cancer.
Fourth row, left to right
- Charles Joseph Clark: Born 6/5/1939, High River, Alberta. 16th. Prime Minister from 6/4/1979 to 3/2/1980.
- John Napier Turner: Born 6/7/1929, Richmond, England. 17th. Prime Minister from 6/30/1984 to 9/17/1984.
- Martin Brian Mulroney: Born 3/20/1939, Baie-Comeau, Quebec. 18th. Prime Minister from 9/17/1984 to 6/25/1993.
- A. Kim Campbell: Born 3/10/1947, Port Alberni, British Columbia. 19th. Prime Minister from 6/25/1993 to 11/4/1993.
- Joseph Jacques Jean Chretien: Born 1/11/1934, Shawinigan, Quebec. 20th. Prime Minister from 11/4/1993 to 12/12/2003
Newer Prime Minsisters of Canada not shown in picture.