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Sir William Mulock

Photograph: Hon. William Mulock. Ottawa, 1896


Hon. William Mulock, Member for North York and Postmaster General. Ottawa, 1896.

(January 19, 1844 - October 1, 1944)

The Right Honourable William Mulock was an active participant in the negotiations that led to the entrance of Alberta and Saskatchewan into Confederation in 1905.

Mulock sat in the House of Commons from 1882 to 1905 and was postmaster general from 1896 to 1905 in Sir Wilfrid Laurier's Liberal government. He was responsible for creating the Department of Labour, setting down the text of the law himself in 1900. He would become the first minister of labour from 1900 to 1905. During this mandate, with the help of the young economist William Lyon Mackenzie King, he managed to abolish the sweat system -- a practice that permitted federal ministries to conduct business with companies engaged in sweatshop labour practices. He also founded the Labour Gazette, with Mackenzie King as editor. In fact, Mulock was the man who convinced Mackenzie King to join the federal public service when the latter was more attracted to the teaching profession.

William Mulock remained very active after his political career ended in 1905. He had already been vice-rector of the University of Toronto from 1881 to 1900, and he became rector from 1924 to 1944. Trained as a lawyer, Mulock was appointed head of the treasury branch of the Supreme Court of Ontario and sat as chief justice of the Supreme Court of Ontario from 1923 to 1936.


Babe, Robert E. -- "Sir William Mulock."  -- The 1999 Canadian encyclopedia : world edition [CD-ROM]. -- Version 5. -- [S.l.] : McClelland & Stewart, 1998.

Loudon, William James. -- Sir William Mulock : A short biography. -- Toronto : Macmillan, 1932. -- 384 p.

"William Mulock." -- The Canadian who's who. Vol. II. 1936-1937. -- Toronto : s.n., s.d.. -- P. 811-812.