About John Diefenbaker
An entertaining and theatrical speaker, John Diefenbaker was a Canadian populist who combined Conservative politics with social justice issues. Of neither French nor English ancestry, John Diefenbaker worked hard to include Canadians of other ethnic backgrounds. Diefenbaker gave Western Canada a high profile, but Quebeckers considered him unsympathetic.
John Diefenbaker had mixed success on the international front. Diefenbaker championed international human rights, but his confused defence policy and economic nationalism caused tension with the United States.
Prime Minister of Canada
Highlights as Prime Minister
Highlights of the John Diefenbaker years as Prime Minister of Canada include
Canadian Bill of Rights 1960
Vote extended to native peoples in Canada 1960
Royal Commission on Health Services 1961
Agriculture Rehabilitation and Development Act 1961
Found market in China for prairie wheat
Created National Productivity Council 1963
Expanded old age pensions
Introduced simultaneous translation in House of Commons
Birth and Death
- Born September 18, 1895 in Neustadt, Ontario. John Diefenbaker moved with his family to Fort Carlton, NWT in 1903 and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1910.
- Died August 16, 1979 in Ottawa, Ontario.
BA, MA, LL.B - University of Saskatchewan
- Criminal lawyer
- Lieutenant, 105th Saskatoon Fusiliers 1916-17
Ridings (Electoral Districts)
- Lake Centre 1940-53
- Prince Albert 1953-79
Political Career of John Diefenbaker
John Diefenbaker was elected Leader of the Saskatchewan Conservative Party in 1936, but the party did not win any seats in the 1938 provincial election.
He was first elected to the Canadian House of Commons in 1940.
John Diefenbaker was elected Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 1956, and was Leader of the Opposition from 1956 to 1957.
John Diefenbaker was sworn in as Prime Minister of Canada in 1957.
In the 1958 general election, the Conservatives won a majority government.
The Conservatives were back to a minority government in the 1962 general election.
The Conservatives lost the 1963 election and John Diefenbaker became Leader of the Opposition. Lester Pearson became Prime Minister.
John Diefenbaker was replaced as Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada by Robert Stanfield in 1967.
John Diefenbaker remained a member of parliament until three months before his death in 1979.
7 Virtual Exhibits on Diefenbaker - Diefenbaker Canada Centre