CanadaInfo Navigator Bar

Parliamentary Trivia


How well do you know your Canadian politicians? Or do you just want to find out some interesting facts about our parliamentarians? Then this is the page for you. Below is the longest and shortest, the youngest and oldest, and many other interesting trivia.

MAIN MENU: GOVERNMENT: FEDERAL: PARLIAMENT: PARLIAMENTARY TRIVIA


Members of Parliament - General

  • 15 pairs of brothers (no pairs of sisters yet)
  • 313 deaths in office
  • 34 parties represented - 10 of which only ever had 1 member each
  • Macdonald is the most common surname name
  • Members have born in 54 countries, covering all 6 inhabited continents (no one from Antarctica yet!)
  • 6 sets of father-son, 1 set of father-daughter
  • 2 sets of spouses
  • Lawyer is most common profession

Longest Time as Parliamentarian

Members of Parliament

The Right Honourable Wilfrid Laurier was a member for the longest period of time - 44 years and 11 months from January 22, 1874 to February 17, 1919. He is also the member who served for the longest consecutive time - 41 years and 2 1/2 months from November 28, 1877 to February 17, 1919.

The current record is held by Mr. Louis Plamondon who has been a Member of Parliament for almost 26 years, first elected on September 4, 1984. This makes him the "Dean of the House" and therefore oversees the election of the Speaker on the first day of Parliament.

In all, 38 Members of Parliament have served 30 years or more (as of spring 2011).


Senators

The Honourable Pascal Poirier was a senator for the longest period of time - 48 years 6 months 16 days from March 9, 1885 to September 25, 1933.

The current record is held by The Honourable Lowell Murray who has been a Senator for more than 30 years; appointed to the Senate on September 13, 1979.


Member of House of Commons and then Senator

The Honourable Azellus Denis was a parliamentarian for 55 years 11 months. Elected for the first time in the general election of October 14, 1935 and re-elected up to his nomination to the Senate on February 3, 1964.

The current record is held The Honourable Marcel Prud'Homme, who has been a parliamentarian for more than 47 years. Elected for the first time on February 10, 1964 and re-elected up to his nomination to the Senate on May 25, 1993.


Prime Ministers

General
  • As a rookie Member of Parliament, future Prime Minister John Turner once saved the life of then current Prime Minister John Diefenbaker while swimming in the Caribbean.
  • Prime Minister Jean Chrétien is the 19th of 20 children his parents had.
  • Prime Ministers Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir Wilfrid Laurier were, at one time, both strongly opposed to Confederation.
  • Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King often sought political advice from his dead mother. He was also very superstitious - waiting until the hands on a clock were aligned before making annoucements in the House of Commons and other rather strange decisions.

Oldest to Take Office

The Honourable Sir Charles Tupper became Prime Minister May 1, 1896 at the age of 74 years 10 months.


Youngest to Take Office

The Right Honourable Joe Clark became Prime Minister June 4, 1979 at the age of 39 years 11 months.


Longest Time Being Prime Minister

The Right Honourable William Lyon Mackenzie King was prime minister for 21 years 4 1/2 months from December 29, 1921 to June 8, 1926, from September 25, 1926 to August 7, 1930 and from October 23, 1935 to November 15, 1948.


Shortest Time Being Prime Minister

The Honourable Sir Charles Tupper served only 2 months 7 days from May 1 to July 8, 1896.

More information about the Length of Terms of Former Prime Ministers.


Oldest Parliamentarians

Members of Parliament

The Honourable William Anderson Black was still a Member of Parliament when he died at the age of 86 years 10 months 22 days.

The current record is held by Mr. Ray Boughen, who was born on May 25, 1937.


Senators

The Honourable Georges-Casimir Dessaulles was still a senator when he died at the age of 102 years, 6 1/2 months
"Canada has had on at least two occasions the singular distinction of possessing the oldest legislator in the world: Senator Wark, who died in 1905 in his 102nd year, and Senator Dessaulles, who died in his 103rd year"


The current record will never surpass the age of 75 as Senators must retire when they reach that age.


Cabinet Minister

The Honourable J.M. Macdonnell was appointed Minister without Portfolio on June 22, 1957 at the age of 72.

The current record is held by The Honourable Bev Oda who was born on July 27, 1944.


Youngest Parliamentarians

Members of Parliament

Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault was first elected in the general election of May 2, 2011 at 19 years, 11 months old.

Senators (minimum age is 30)

The Honourable William Miller was appointed to the Senate on October 23, 1867 at the age of 32 years 8 months.

The current record is held by The Honourable Patrick Brazeau who was born on November 11, 1974.


Cabinet Minister

The Honourable Jean Charest was appointed Minister of State (Fitness and Amateur Sports) on June 30, 1986 at the age of 28.

The current record is held by The Honourable Christian Paradis who was born on January 1, 1974.


Parliament

Longest Session

The 32nd Parliament, 1st Session lasted from April 14, 1980 to November 30, 1983. 1326 days; 591 sitting days of the House of Commons, 329 sitting days of the Senate.

Shortest Session

The 18th Parliament, 6th Session was on January 25, 1940. 1 sitting day of the House of Commons and the Senate.

Defeats in the House Leading to an Election*

  • July 1, 1926 when The Right Honourable Arthur Meighen was Prime Minister
  • February 5, 1963 when The Right Honourable John Diefenbaker was Prime Minister
  • May 8, 1974 when The Right Honourable Pierre Elliott Trudeau was Prime Minister
  • December 13, 1979 when The Right Honourable Joe Clark was Prime Minister
  • November 29, 2005 when The Right Honourable Paul Martin was Prime Minister
  • September 7, 2008 when The Right Honourable Stephen Harper was Prime Minister
  • March 26, 2011 when The Right Honourable Stephen Harper was Prime Minister
* When the party in power loses a confidence vote in the House of Commons, Parliament is usually dissolved and a general election called.


See also
Parliament
House of Commons
Senate

External Links
Parliament of Canada Official Website


Copyright Craig I.W. Marlatt