Sir Robert L. Borden

Sir Robert Borden

In office:
8th Prime Minister of Canada
October 10, 1911 to  July 10, 1920

Born: June 26, 1854 at Grand-Pré, Nova Scotia
Died: June 10, 1937, aged 82, in  Ottawa, Ontario
Resting place: Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa, Ontario

Political parties:
Liberal
(1867-1891)
Conservative
(1891-1917, 1922-1937)
Unionist
(1917-1922)

Religion: Anglican

From 1868 to 1874, he worked as a teacher in Grand-Pré and Matawan, New Jersey. Seeing no future in teaching, he returned to Nova Scotia in 1874 to article for four years at a Halifax law firm (without a formal university education), and was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in August 1878, placing first in the bar examinations.

Robert Borden was the last Canadian Prime Minister born before Confederation.

As Prime Minister of Canada during the First World War, he transformed his government to a wartime administration, passing the War Measures Act in 1914. Borden committed Canada to provide half a million soldiers for the war effort. However, volunteers had quickly dried up when Canadians realized there would be no quick end to the war. Borden’s determination to meet that huge commitment led to the Military Service Act and the Conscription Crisis of 1917, which split the country on linguistic lines.

On a personal note:
Married: Laura Bond in September 1889.

Laura Bond served as president of the Local Council of Women of Halifax, until her resignation in 1901. She served as President of the Aberdeen Association, Vice-President of the Women’s Work Exchange in Halifax, and Corresponding Secretary of the Associated Charities of the United States.

He is a distant relative of American accused murderer Lizzie Borden.

Legacy:

  • Borden was the last Canadian Prime Minister to be knighted (in 1915) since, in deference to The Nickle Resolution, no others have been. However R.B. Bennett (prime minister from 1930–35) was created 1st Viscount Bennett after leaving office.
  • Sir Robert Borden is depicted on the Canadian $100 bill.
  • Sir Robert Borden was honoured by having two high schools named after him, in the Nepean part of Ottawa, and in the Scarborough section of Toronto.
  • Sir Robert Borden was also honoured by having a junior high school named after him in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia.
  • The town of Borden, Saskatchewan was named after him.
  • The town of Borden in Western Australia was named after him.

 

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