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Sir Frederick William Alpin Gordon Haultain

Photograph: Sir Frederick William Haultain.


Sir Frederick William Haultain.

(November 25, 1857 - January 30, 1942)

Frederick William Haultain was among the most active politicians in the fight to create the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. His political career was marked by his unfailing belief in the Northwest Territories' right to strong political power, and he worked tirelessly to obtain responsible government.

Haultain's main challenge was to convince Wilfrid Laurier's government to make the Northwest Territories a single province and to abolish party lines in the Legislative Assembly. His own political allegiance was a mix of liberalism and conservatism, despite an avowed partiality for the Conservative Party. He was a free thinker and remained extremely independent throughout his long career.

Frederick William Haultain was raised in Montréal and Toronto. He studied at the University of Toronto and was called to the bar of Ontario in 1882 and the bar of the Northwest Territories in 1884. He settled in Fort Macleod and opened his legal practice there. He entered politics only three years after his arrival, and was elected to the council for the Northwest Territories in 1887 and 1888 and to the Northwest Territories' Legislative Assembly from 1888 to 1905. From 1897 to 1905, he was president of the Executive Council, which gave him de facto the role of premier.

Haultain's ideological battles with Wilfrid Laurier meant that he would be overlooked as a possible premier for one of the new provinces. He was head of the opposition in Saskatchewan and leader of the Provincial Rights Party from 1905 to 1912. In 1912, he was named chief justice of the Superior Court of Saskatchewan and in 1917, he sat as chief justice of Saskatchewan's Court of Appeal. Knighted in 1916, he would also become chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan from 1916 to 1938. Haultain retired from public life in 1938.


Canada and its provinces : A history of the Canadian people and their institutions by one hundred associates. Vol. XIX. -- Under the direction of Adam Shortt [and] Arthur G. Doughty. -- Toronto : Publishers' Association of Canada, 1914. -- P. 214-225.

"Frederick William Haultain." -- The Canadian who's who. Vol. III. 1938-1939. -- Toronto : Trans-Canada Press, 1939. -- P. 311.

Gordon, Stanley. -- "Frederick William Haultain."  -- The 1999 Canadian encyclopedia : world edition [CD-ROM]. -- Version 5. -- [S.l.] : McClelland & Stewart, 1998.

MacEwan, Grant. -- Frederick Haultain : frontier statesman of the Canadian northwest. -- Saskatoon : Western Producer Prairie Books, 1985. -- 198 p.

"Sir Frederick William Haultain." -- Bercuson, David J. ; Granatstein, J. L. -- The Collins dictionary of Canadian history. -- Don Mills [Ontario] : Collins, 1988. -- P. 91.