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Sir Charles Fitzpatrick

Photograph: Hon. Charles Fitzpatrick.


Hon. Charles Fitzpatrick, Member of Parliament and Solicitor General of Canada.

(December 19, 1853 - June 17, 1942)

The Right Honourable Charles Fitzpatrick played an active role in the evolution of Western Canada's political situation. In 1905, he took part, as the federal government representative, in the negotiations that led to the creation of the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Charles Fitzpatrick's legal career was always as important as his political career. In 1885, he won renown as defence counsel for Louis Riel, then accused of treason by John A. Macdonald's Conservative government. In 1897, he represented the Dominion of Canada before the London Privy Council in a case involving the fisheries.

A member of the Liberal Party, Fitzpatrick sat in the Legislative Assembly of Quebec from 1890 to 1896, and in the House of Commons from 1896 to 1906. He was solicitor general (1896) and minister of justice (from 1902 to 1906) in Sir Wilfrid Laurier's government. It was as solicitor general in 1897 that Fitzpatrick met with Pope Leon XIII and succeeded in obtaining from the supreme pontiff the envoy of Cardinal Merry del Val to settle the issue of schools in Manitoba.

In 1906, Fitzpatrick resigned from politics and was named chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. When he resigned from that position in 1918, he was made lieutenant-governor of Quebec, a post in which he remained until 1923.


Evans, David. -- "Sir Charles Fitzpatrick." -- The 1999 Canadian encyclopedia : World edition [CD-ROM]. -- Version 5. -- [S.l.]: McClelland & Stewart, 1998.

"Charles Fitzpatrick." -- The Canadian who's who. Vol. III. 1938-1939. -- Toronto: Trans-Canada Press, 1939. -- P. 234-235.