Canada's electoral history from 1867 to today

The youngest and the oldest to become head of government

by Maurice Y. Michaud (he/him)

SSir Charles Tupper, 1896
(Courtesy of Library and Archives Canada-PA-033708)ome people make it to the top job faster than others. But Nova Scotian Sir Charles Tupper, pictured here, is likely to remain the slowest for a very long time, if not forever.

Tupper was 74 years old when he became Prime Minister of Canada on May 1, 1896. A Conservative, he lasted only two months at the job, although that was not due to his age as he died 19 years later. No, it's that a general election was held on June 23 and the comparatively youthful Wilfrid Laurier (1841–1919), a Liberal aged 54 at the time, became prime minister on July 11. At the other extreme, C. Joseph (Joe) Clark was not quite 40 years old when he was elected on June 4, 1979, to become prime minister. Interestingly, he too was a (Progressive) Conservative and had a short tenure in the office — just a few days short of nine months.

At the provincial or territorial level, George Braden and the Liberal George E. King stand out: the former became Government Leader of the Northwest Territories on June 16, 1980, aged 30 years, 7 months and 12 days, while the latter became Premier of New Brunswick on June 1, 1870, aged 30 years, 7 months and 24 days. At the opposite end we find the Liberal John H. Bell, who was 72 years old when he was elected to become Premier of Prince Edward Island on July 24, 1919.

Over nearly 60 years, New Brunswick had an almost uninterrupted cycle of electing premiers in their thirties or early fourties, although none of them came too close to breaking the provincial record held by King.

But the cycle came to a decisive end when Progressive Conservative Blaine M. Higgs took the job. Given that he was 64 years old on November 3, 2018, he holds the record for being the oldest person to become the province's premier.

Legend } Mandate: Date → Duration [yy.mm.dd]
Age at the time: (yy.mm.dd)
Alive: 12
Dead: 17
 PAR  Party
Currently in that office: 1
Died in that office: 1
Last column: Rank in category
Jurisdiction The Youngest The Oldest
1 CA
Canada
PC
From 4 June 1979 → 00.08.27
C. Joseph (Joe) Clark
(39.11.30)
15
CONS
From 1 May 1896 → 00.02.07
Charles Tupper
(74.09.29)
1
9 AB
Alberta
SC
From 31 May 1943 → 25.06.11
Ernest C. Manning
(34.08.11)
7
PC
From 23 March 2014 → 00.05.22
David G. Hancock
(58.07.13)
12
8 BC
British Columbia
CONS
From 1 June 1903 → 12.06.13
Richard McBride
(32.05.17)
5
GOV
From 2 August 1889 → 02.10.27
John Robson
(65.04.19)
8
11 MB
Manitoba
NDP
From 25 June 1969 → 08.03.15
Edward R. Schreyer
(33.06.04)
6
PC
From 19 April 2016 → 05.04.12
Brian W. Pallister
(61.09.13)
10
3 NB
New Brunswick
PC
From 1 June 1870 → 00.08.19
George E. King
(30.07.24)
2
PC
From 3 November 2018 → 03.09.14
Blaine M. Higgs
(64.08.02)
9
7 NL
Newfoundland and Labrador
PC
From 26 March 1979 → 09.11.23
A. Brian Peckford
(36.06.27)
9
PC
From 24 January 2014 → 00.08.01
Thomas W. Marshall
(67.02.29)
6
2 NS
Nova Scotia
LIB
From 20 June 1882 → 02.01.07
William T. Pipes
(32.02.05)
4
LIB
From 10 July 1940 → 05.01.28
Alexander S. MacMillan
(69.08.10)
4
14 NT
Northwest Territories
INDE
From 16 June 1980 → 03.06.26
George Braden
(30.07.12)
1
INDE
From 10 December 2003 → 03.10.08
Joseph L. Handley
(60.04.01)
11
13 NU
Nunavut
INDE
From 15 February 1999 → 09.09.03
Paul Okalik
(34.08.20)
8
INDE
From 21 November 2017 → 00.06.23
Paul Quassa
(65.10.09)
7
6 ON
Ontario
LIB
From 19 June 1934 → 08.04.01
Mitchell F. Hepburn
(37.10.07)
12
PC
From 19 October 1948 → 00.06.14
Thomas L. Kennedy
(70.02.04)
3
4 PE
Prince Edward Island
LIB
From 17 August 1876 → 02.07.22
Louis H. Davies
(31.03.13)
3
LIB
From 24 July 1919 → 03.11.29
John H. Bell
(72.07.11)
2
5 QC
Québec
QLP
From 29 April 1970 → 06.06.16
J. Robert Bourassa
(36.09.15)
11
CONS
From 21 December 1891 → 00.11.24
Charles-Eugène Boucher de Boucherville
(69.07.17)
5
10 SK
Saskatchewan
LIB
From 5 April 1922 → 03.10.20
Charles A. Dunning
(36.08.05)
10
NDP
From 21 October 1991 → 09.03.17
Roy J. Romanow
(52.02.09)
14
12 YT
Yukon
NDP
From 13 May 1985 → 07.05.05
Anthony D.J. Penikett
(39.05.29)
13
YP
From 19 October 1992 → 03.11.10
John Ostashek
(56.05.09)
13
15 NW
North-Western Territory
INDE
From 7 October 1897 → 07.10.24
Frederick W.A.G. Haultain
(39.10.12)
14
INDE
From 7 October 1897 → 07.10.24
Frederick W.A.G. Haultain
(39.10.12)
15
Frederick W.A.G. Haultain was the only premier of the North-Western Territory, making him both the youngest and oldest.



© 2022 Maurice Y. Michaud :: PoliCan.ca
Pub.: 13 Jun 2022 12:50
Rev.: 23 Jul 2022 18:54 (but data revised dynamically)