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List of Prime Ministers of Canada

Prime Ministers

See also the chapter on prime minister biographies.

NAME
TENURE
PARTY
Born/Died
John A. Macdonald
Jul 1, 1867 - Nov 7, 1873
Conservative
1815 - 1891
Alexander Mackenzie
Nov 7, 1873 - Oct 10, 1878
Liberal
1822 - 1892
Macdonald (2nd time)
Oct 17, 1878 - Jun 6, 1891
Conservative
John Abbott
Jun 16, 1891 - Dec 5, 1892
Conservative
1821 - 1893
John Thompson
Dec 5, 1892 - Dec 12, 1894
Conservative
1844 - 1894
Mackenzie Bowell
Dec 21, 1894 - May 1, 1896
Conservative
1823 - 1917
Charles Tupper
May 1, 1896 - Jul 11, 1896
Conservative
1821 - 1915
Wilfrid Laurier
Jul 11, 1896 - Oct 10, 1911
Liberal
1841 - 1919
Robert Borden
Oct 10, 1911 - Jul 10, 1920
Conservative
1854 - 1937
Arthur Meighen
Jul 10, 1920 - Dec 29, 1921
Conservative
1874 - 1960
Mackenzie King
Dec 29, 1921 - Jun 28, 1926
Liberal
1874 - 1950
Meighen (2nd time)
Jun 28, 1926 - Sep 25, 1926
Conservative
King (2nd time)
Sep 25, 1926- Aug 7, 1930
Liberal
R.B. Bennett
Aug 7, 1930 - Oct 23, 1935
Conservative
1870 - 1947
King (3rd time)
Oct 23, 1935 - Nov 15, 1948
Liberal
Louis St. Laurent
Nov 15, 1948 - Jun 21, 1957
Liberal
1882 - 1973
John G. Diefenbaker
Jun 21, 1957 - Apr 22, 1963
Progressive Conservative
1895 - 1979
Lester B. Pearson
Apr 22, 1963 - Apr 20, 1968
Liberal
1897 - 1972
Pierre Elliott Trudeau
Apr 20, 1968 - Jun 4, 1979
Liberal
1919 - 2000
Joe Clark
Jun 4, 1979 - Mar 3, 1980
Progressive Conservative
1939 -
Trudeau (2nd time)
Mar 3, 1980 - Jun 30, 1984
Liberal
John Turner
Jun 30, 1984 - Sep 17, 1984
Liberal
1929 -
Brian Mulroney
Sep 17, 1984 - Jun 25, 1993
Progressive Conservative
1939 -
Kim Campbell
Jun 25, 1993 - Nov 4, 1993
Progressive Conservative
1947 -
Jean Chrétien
Nov 4, 1993 - Dec 12, 2003
Liberal
1934 -
Paul Martin
Dec 12, 2003 - Feb 6, 2006
Liberal
1938 -
Stephen Harper
Feb 6, 2006 - Nov 4, 2015
Conservative Party of Canada
1959 -
Justin Trudeau
Nov 4, 2015 -
Liberal
1971 -

History of the Prime Ministership

In the first 90 years following Confederation, Canada technically had no formal office of prime minister. The highest institution in the executive branch was simply the cabinet, and whichever cabinet minister was leader of the ruling party was called head of cabinet or head of government, and informally referred to as Canada’s prime minister or premier. It was not until 1957 that someone served as prime minister without also holding another cabinet job. Likewise, prior to 1957 there was no inauguration for prime minister; record keepers simply consider a pre-1957 prime minister’s term to have begun when he was sworn into the cabinet job he got when his party assumed power.

Heads of the Canadian Government (1867-1957)

NAME
TENURE
CABINET POSITION
John A. Macdonald
1867-1873
Attorney General
Alexander Mackenzie
1873-1878
Minister of Public Works
Macdonald (2nd time)
1878-1891
Attorney General to Nov 27, 1889; Minister of Railways from Nov 28, 1889*
John Abbott
1891-1892
President of the Privy Council*
John Thompson
1892-1894
Attorney General
Mackenzie Bowell
1894-1896
President of the Privy Council*
Charles Tupper
1896
Secretary of State for Canada*
Wilfrid Laurier
1896-1911
President of the Privy Council*
Robert Borden
1911-1920
Foreign Minister*
Arthur Meighen
1920-1921
Foreign Minister*
Mackenzie King
1921-1926
President of the Privy Council and Foreign Minister
Meighen (2nd time)
1926
President of the Privy Council and Foreign Minister
King (2nd time)
1926-1930
President of the Privy Council and Foreign Minister
R.B. Bennett
1930-1935
President of the Privy Council and Foreign Minister
King (3rd time)
1935-1948
President of the Privy Council and Foreign Minister
Louis St. Laurent
1948-1957
President of the Privy Council to Apr 24, 1957; solely prime minister from Apr 25, 1957 onward
* Held other cabinet positions as well, but the identified jobs were held for his entire tenure.