Stanfield, Robert Lorne

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Stanfield, Robert Lorne

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Robert Stanfield was born in Truro, NS on April 11, 1914. His family owned and operated Stanfield’s clothing manufacturers, a thriving Canadian clothing company. His father was Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia and he had two relatives in federal politics. He graduated from Dalhousie University in 1936 and went to Harvard Law School. In 1948 Stanfield became the leader of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative party, and was elected as Premier in 1956. He was Premier for 11 years, and in his government he created provincial parks in Nova Scotia, modernized the roads, created vocational schools (which became NSCC), provided the first consistent funding to universities, created Neptune Theatre, and brought in the first form of Medicare in NS. In 1967 he became the leader of the federal PC party, until 1976. He lost three national elections to Pierre Trudeau, and is often called “the best Prime Minister Canada never had.” He had four children with his first wife Joyce, who died in a car accident in 1954. He remarried in 1957, and when his second wife Mary passed away in 1977, he remarried again to Anne Austin. Robert Stanfield passed away on December 16, 2003 in Ottawa. The Halifax airport was named in his honour in 2007.


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