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Sinclair Stevens

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Biography

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Sinclair McKnight Stevens, PC (born February 11, 1927) is a Canadian lawyer, businessman and former parliamentarian. 

 

He was born in Esquesing Township (today part of Halton Hills, Ontario), the third child of Northern Irish immigrants Robert Murray Stevens and Anna Bailey McKnight. The family later moved near Kleinburg, Ontario. He attended Weston Collegiate Institute and later, the University of Western Ontario, class of 1950. He was active in the student newspaper and the model Parliament. He entered Osgoode Hall Law School, where he met his fellow student and future wife Noreen Mary Terese Charlebois. Noreen was one of just five women in their class. They graduated in 1955 and married in 1958. From his university days until he articled, he was a part-time reporter for the Toronto Star. Stevens articled with Toronto law firm Fraser & Beatty. He later formed his own firm Stevens, Hassard & Elliot.

 

Political activity

He was first elected to the Canadian House of Commons in the 1972 federal election as a Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament, defeating Liberal incumbent cabinet minister John Roberts in the riding of York-Simcoe. He won again in the elections of 1972, 1974, 1979, 1980 and 1984. Stevens ran as a candidate in the 1976 Progressive Conservative leadership convention.


  • Cabinet Minister (1979-1980 and 1984-1986)

Stevens served as President of the Treasury Board in the short-lived (1979–1980) Clark government. Stevens turned against Clark, and was an early supporter of Brian Mulroney's leadership bid which culminated in victory at the 1983 Progressive Conservative leadership convention. After the 1984 election, which resulted in a Tory landslide, Stevens became Minister of Regional Industrial Expansion. As a cabinet minister, Stevens had placed his business holdings in a Blind trust. Stevens won the party nomination in his riding once again, but Prime Minister Brian Mulroney refused to sign Stevens's nomination papers, forcing the riding association to nominate another candidate. As a result of this bitter fight Stevens left Parliament in 1988. 

 

Stevens returned to prominence as a bitter opponent of the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservatives into the Conservative Party of Canada. Stevens backed an unsuccessful lawsuit to try to block the merger.


  • Leader of the Progressive Canadian Party

In 2007, following Tracy Parsons's resignation as leader of the Progressive Canadian Party, Stevens became tha. party's interim leader. Unlike Ernie Schreiber, Stevens ran in an election as a party leader in 2011.

 

source

June 21, 2010

updated: 2012-11-18

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