August 4, 2020

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Primer on prime ministers

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/10/2015 (1769 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

ONLY one Canadian prime minister has come from a Manitoba riding, and that was Arthur Meighen, who served two terms, from 1920-21 and three months in 1926. He represented Portage la Prairie in the House of Commons but didn't leave much of a legacy as prime minister.

Most Canadian prime ministers have come from Ontario and Quebec, the largest provinces. Quebec takes the top prize, with seven prime ministers who were MPs of ridings in the province. Ontario has sent five prime ministers, one of them being a senator rather than an MP. Alberta has sent three prime ministers, and B.C. and Nova Scotia two each, and Saskatchewan one, while the rest of the provinces and territories have sent none.

But you don't have to be an MP to be prime minister -- you simply have to be the leader of the winning party. Three prime ministers governed when they were initially not sitting MPs, most recently in 1984 with John Turner, who succeeded Pierre Trudeau as Liberal leader but was not an MP at first. He was prime minister for barely two months, between June and September 1984, before the Liberals lost the election.


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Updated on Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 10:29 AM CDT: Corrects number of prime ministers from Saskatchewan

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