Frederick W. A. G. Haultain

Frederick W. A. G. Haultain

Sir Frederick William Alpin Gordon Haultain (November 25, 1857 – January 30, 1942) was the first premier of Canada's North-West Territories (1897–1905), and the last premier prior to the creation of the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan from the original territory.

He was born in Woolwich, England in 1857, the son of Frederick W. Haultain, and came to Peterborough, Ontario with his family in 1860. He grew up in Peterborough and Montreal, later receiving a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto. He went on to study law at Osgoode Hall and was called to the bar in Ontario in 1882 and in the North-West Territories in 1884.

Haultain was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories in 1887, and became a leader of a group of Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) demanding responsible government for the territory. Responsible government was finally granted in 1897, and Haultain became premier. Haultain opposed party politics and led a non-partisan administration.

Nonetheless, he became leader of the Northwest Territories Liberal-Conservative Party in 1897, and his party formed the government, but he still appointed a mix of Liberals and Conservatives to his cabinet.

As premier, Haultain led negotiations for the granting of provincial status. Haultain argued for these territories to be admitted as a single province named Buffalo, and wanted the new province to be governed by non-partisan governments. The federal Liberal government of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, however, fearful of a large conservative province in the west, decided to create two provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan, in 1905.

Frustrated in negotiations with the federal Liberal government, Haultain became increasingly identified with the Conservative Party and campaigned for it in the 1904 federal election. Laurier's Liberals were re-elected, and when the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan were formed, the Liberal government passed over Haultain and appointed loyal Liberals to form those provinces' first governments.

Haultain led the Provincial Rights Party in the 1905 Saskatchewan provincial election, which was won by the Liberal Party of Saskatchewan. From 1905 to 1912, Haultain sat in the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan as leader of the Opposition.

In 1912, the newly elected Conservative federal government of Sir Robert Borden made Haultain Chief Justice of Saskatchewan's superior court. He was knighted in 1916, and in 1917 was made Chief Justice of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, a position he held until his retirement in 1938.

External links

* [ Frederick Haultain biography]

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