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Description found in Archives

Otto E. Lang fonds [textual record]. 



Place of creation


89.2 m of textual records.
8 audio reels (ca. 300 min.)
5 photographs b&w.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of nine series documenting the Honorable Otto E. Lang's pre-political, political and post political career. The textual records comprise personal records, operational files, newspaper clippings, speeches, statements and interviews, minister's staff files, itineraries and weekly appointments, briening books, case files as well as reference material collected and created by the Honorable Otto E. Lang. These records document the Minister's pre-political career, and his work as Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce, 1967-1971; Manpower and Immigration, 1967-1972; Justice, 1967-1979; Transport, 1970-1980; Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, 1967-1992; Constituency correspondence, 1969-1978; and his post political career, 1976-1997.

Graphic (photo)
10: Closed
10: Closed
Archival reference no.

Textual records The finding aid was co-authored by Michel Wyczynski and Guy Poulin in February 2004. MSS2347 90 (Electronic)

Biography / Administrative history

Otto Emil Lang was born in Handel, Saskatchewan, on 14 May 1932, the third of four children of German immigrant parents.

Mr. Lang's early education was at Cudeworth, Englefeld and Humboldt, and he went on to the University of Saskatchewan where he received his B.A., in 1951 and L.L.B. in 1953. He was chosen Saskatchewan's Rhodes Scholar for 1953 and received his B.C.L. from Oxford University, England in 1955.

Following his return to Canada in 1956, Mr. Lang was articled to W.B. Francis Q.C. of Saskatoon. He was admitted to the Saskatchewan Bar in 1956, and joined the faculty of the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan, in Saskatoon. Later, he was admitted to the Bar of Ontario, in 1972 and the Bar of Manitoba in 1988. Lang was appointed associate professor in 1957 at the University of Saskatchewan. In 1961, he was named Professor and became Dean of the College, Canada's youngest Law Dean, at the age of 29, a post he held until 1968. During 1962-1963, he served as President of the Association of Canadian Law Teachers. Mr. Lang edited a volume of essays entitled "Contemporary Problems of Public Law in Canada", published by the University of Toronto Press in 1967, and has written articles on such subjects as labour law, trusts and non-fault automobile insurance.

His interest in politics goes back to 1956 when he became vice president of the Saskatchewan Liberal Association, a post he held until 1963. He was acting president of the association in 1959 and federal campaign chairman for the Province of Saskatchewan in 1963-1964. Otto Lang and his wife, the former Adrian Ann Merchant for Saskatoon, were married in 1963. They have seven children.

Mr. Lang was first elected to Parliament as the member of Saskatoon-Humboldt in the 25 June 1968 general election and re-elected in October 1972 and later in 1974. He was sworn to the Privy Council 6 July 1968 by the Right Honourable Pierre-Elliot Trudeau.

From 6 July 1968 to 24 September 1970, he was appointed as a Cabinet Minister without Portfolio with special responsibilities in the Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce. Thus, Lang become the first Saskatchewan Cabinet member since the Liberals election in 1963.

Mr. Lang became Acting Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources early in 1969, during the illness of Honourable J. J. Greene. Under a division of responsibility announced in May 1969 he undertook the direction of Energy and Water Resources Policy, introducing a major statement of federal government policy on water resources and setting guidelines for the preparation of the Canada Water Act, which has since become law.

On 15 October 1969, the Prime Minister assigned to Mr. Lang the responsibility of reporting to Parliament for the Canadian Wheat Board and co-ordinating the efforts of all federal departments and agencies in developing policies and programs for the prairie grains industry. During this time Otto Lang was responsible for the acquisition of 8,000 ultra-modern hopper cars for moving grain, for initiating a major problem of rebuilding prairie branch lines, and the establishment of the Western Grain Stabilization Program. He held this position till 1979.

On 22 January 1972, he announced the creation of a Two Price System for the Wheat, in effect giving grain farmers a more just return on their farming in proportion to the domestic human consumption of wheat. Shortly thereafter in recognition of his 1970-71 record 706 million bushels of grain exports he was chosen Salesman of the Year in his native Saskatchewan. Additionally, he was made a Queen's Counsel for Saskatchewan and Ontario. Lang was appointed to his first major portfolio on 24 September 1970. Manpower and Immigration now gave him the opportunity to work with and develop Canada's human resources, both native and foreign born. As Minister he initiated numerous new programs including the Training on the Job Program (TOJ); and the Local Initiatives Program, (LIP).

On 27 January 1972, he exchanged Manpower and Immigration for the senior cabinet portfolio of Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. He remained in this capacity until 25 September 1975. Later, in 1978, he was sworn in again as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada for a six month period.

On 26 September 1975 he was appointed Minister of Transport. He reorganized and gave new initiative to Air Canada and the CNR. He introduced major legislation dealing with ports and harbours, passenger rail service [VIA Rail], maritime law and the transportation of dangerous goods. This would be his last portfolio. Lang left on 6 June 1979. Following a productive political career, Otto Lang pursued his private career. Between 1979 and 2000 he held numerous positions: Chairman of the Commission on Judges' Salaries and Benefits; Honorary Consul-General of Japan; Executive Vice-Chair of Pioneer Grain Co. Ltd, Winnipeg, 1979-1988; Director Investors Group Trust Co. Ltd., 1986 - to the present; Chair of the Transport Inst., University of Manitoba, 16 August 1988 - 1993; President and CEO Central Gas Manitoba, Inc., 1986 to the present; Vice-Chair, Winnipeg Airports Authority, 1995 to the present; Chair of the Board, Humboldt Flour Mills, 1996-1998; and Senior Council, GPC International since 2000.

Additional information

Donated by Otto E. Lang in 2003.

Subject heading

1. Lang, Otto E. (Otto Emil), 1932-
2. Politicians Canada
3. Hommes politiques Canada
4. Cabinet ministers Canada
5. Ministres Canada
6. Politics and government Canada
7. Politique et gouvernement Canada


Related control no.