Arthur Sturgis Hardy

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The more wickeder he is, playing euchre and swearing and entertaining thirsty strangers, the brighter does the virtue of Mowat shine by contrast.

Entering his sixties and having been in government for over twenty years, Hardy lacked the energy and strength to take the government forward or excite the populace when he succeeded Mowat as both Premier and Attorney-General in 1896. Initially reluctant to accept the positions, he said:

you know how very difficult it is in this wicked world to let high honours pass.

Aware of his weakness, he relied heavily on his minister of education, George William Ross.

Because there were Liberal governments in both Ottawa and Ontario, Hardy was urged to reassure French-speaking Catholics' concerns over the Manitoba Schools Question by appointing François-Eugène-Alfred Évanturel as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. In the 1898 election, Hardy's government was returned with a narrow six seat majority due to the collapse of the agrarian Patrons of Industry party which had served as the Liberal's allies in the legislature, as well as the rise of Catholic and urban support for the Conservatives under James Pliny Whitney.

Hardy's most significant—and controversial—achievement occurred in 1898 with passage of an Act providing for all pine cut under licence on crown lands to be sawn into lumber in Canada. [1] Michigan lumbermen sought to have the amendment disallowed for encroaching on the federal trade and commerce power, but Wilfrid Laurier's government refused to do so. [2]

Exhausted and needing money, Hardy retired from politics in 1899 and died two years later from appendicitis. [3] Hardy's body was originally interred at Greenwood Cemetery, however 34 years after his death, his son Senator Arthur Charles Hardy had the remains of Hardy, his wife, and their daughter Gladys Mary Starr moved to Farringdon Burial Ground. [4]

Legacy

An Ontario Historical Plaque was erected in Brantford, Ontario, by the province to commemorate Hardy's role in Ontario's history. [5] On June 25, 2009, a new plaque was unveiled to commemorate Hardy under the initiative of Premiers' Gravesites Program. [6] Local politicians, guests and family members paid tribute to the former politician. The family included his great-great-great-granddaughter and the children of his great-nephew Hagood Hardy.

Electoral history

Arthur Sturgis Hardy
Arthur Sturgis Hardy.jpg
Arthur Sturgis Hardy, c. 1900
4th Premier of Ontario
In office
July 21, 1896 October 21, 1899
Ontario provincial by-election, May 1873: Brant South
Resignation of Edmund Burke Wood
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Liberal Arthur Sturgis Hardy 1,28853.76+6.45
Independent J.J. Hawkins1,10846.24 
Total valid votes2,396100.0  +7.73
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +6.45
Source: History of the Electoral Districts, Legislatures and Ministries of the Province of Ontario [7]
1875 Ontario general election : Brant South
PartyCandidateVotes
Liberal Arthur Sturgis Hardy Acclaimed
Source: Elections Ontario [8]

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References

  1. An Act respecting the Manufacture of Pine cut on the Crown Domain , S.O. 1898, c. 9 (which later became The Crown Timber Act , S.O. 1913, c. 8, s. 5 )
  2. The Act's constitutionality was upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal: Smylie v The Queen, 27O.A.R.172 (C.A.1900).
  3. Dictionary of Canadian Biography
  4. "Brant Museum and Archives". Archived from the original on 2009-05-21. Retrieved 2009-06-30.
  5. "Ontario's Historical Plaques - Arthur Sturgis Hardy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-02.
  6. "Premiers' Gravesites Program - Premiers honoured". Archived from the original on 2014-03-13. Retrieved 2013-09-16.
  7. Lewis, Roderick (1968). Centennial Edition of a History of the Electoral Districts, Legislatures and Ministries of the Province of Ontario, 18671968 . p. 22. OCLC   1052682.
  8. "Data Explorer". Elections Ontario. 1875. Retrieved April 6, 2024.

Further reading