Arthur Meighen

Died aged c. 86

Arthur Meighen PC QC (/ˈmiːən/; 16 June 1874 – 5 August 1960) was a Canadian lawyer and politician who served as the ninth prime minister of Canada, in office from July 1920 to December 1921 and from June to September 1926. He led the Conservative Party from 1920 to 1926 and from 1941 to 1942. Meighen was born in rural Perth County, Ontario. His family came from Bovevagh near Dungiven in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. He studied mathematics at the University of Toronto, and then went on to Osgoode Hall Law School. After qualifying to practice law, he moved to Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. Meighen entered the House of Commons of Canada in 1908, aged 34, and in 1913 was appointed to the Cabinet of Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden. Under Borden, Meighen served as Solicitor General (1913–1917), Secretary of State for Canada (1917), Minister of Mines (1917; 1919–1920), Minister of the Interior (1917–1920), and Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs (1917–1920). In 1920, Meighen succeeded Borden as Conservative leader and Prime Minister – the first born after Confederation, and the only one from a Manitoba riding. He suffered a heavy defeat in the 1921 election to Mackenzie King and the Liberal Party, but re-entered Parliament through a 1922 by-election and remained as Opposition Leader. In the 1925 election, the Conservatives won a plurality of seats, just eight short of a majority government, but Mackenzie King decided to hold onto power with the support of the Progressives. Meighen's brief second term as Prime Minister came about as the result of the "King–Byng Affair," being invited to form a ministry after Mackenzie King was refused an election request and resigned. He soon lost a no-confidence motion, however, and faced another federal election. Meighen lost his own seat, and the Conservatives lost 24, as Mackenzie King's Liberals re-took power. After losing the 1926 election, Meighen resigned as party leader and quit politics to return to his law practice. He was appointed to the Senate in 1932, and under R. B. Bennett served as Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister without Portfolio until 1935. In 1941, aged 67, Meighen became leader of the Conservatives for a second time, following Robert Manion's resignation. He attempted to re-enter the House of Commons in a by-election for York South, but lost to the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation candidate and resigned as leader shortly thereafter.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

Arthur Meighen (1874-1960) lived here 1918-1928 [full inscription unknown]

131 Dufferin Avenue East, Portage la Prairie, MB, Canada where they lived (1918-1928)