Claude Wagner

Last updated

Claude Wagner

Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Saint-Hyacinthe
In office
October 30, 1972 April 20, 1978
Preceded by Théogène Ricard
Succeeded by Marcel Ostiguy
Member of the National Assembly of Quebec for Verdun
In office
December 31, 1968 February 16, 1970
Preceded byDistrict was created
Succeeded by Lucien Caron
Member of the National Assembly of Quebec for Montréal-Verdun
In office
October 5, 1964 December 30, 1968
Preceded by George O'Reilly
Succeeded byDistrict was abolished
Senator for Kennebec, Quebec
In office
April 21, 1978 July 11, 1979
Appointed by Pierre Trudeau
Preceded by Jean-Pierre Côté
Succeeded by Guy Charbonneau
Personal details
Born(1925-04-04)April 4, 1925
Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada
DiedJuly 11, 1979(1979-07-11) (aged 54)
Political party Progressive Conservative
Other political
Quebec Liberal Party
Spouse(s)Gisèle Normandeau [1]
Children Richard Wagner
Solicitor General
Attorney General
Minister of Justice

Claude Wagner, PC QC (April 4, 1925 July 11, 1979) was a judge and politician in the Province of Quebec, Canada. In his career, Wagner was a Crown prosecutor, professor of criminal law and judge.


Life and career

Wagner was born in Shawinigan, Quebec, the son of Corona (née Saint-Arnaud) and Benjamin Wagner. [2] His father, a violinist, was a German Jewish immigrant from Bavaria. [3] [4] His mother was French-Canadian and Catholic, and Wagner practiced Roman Catholicism. [5] [6]

In 1963, Wagner was appointed as a Sessions Court judge. Subsequently, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Quebec in a by-election in Montréal-Verdun on October 5, 1964, and was re-elected in the 1966 general election in Verdun. He earned a "law and order" reputation when he served successively as Solicitor General, Attorney General, and Minister of Justice from its creation in 1965 to 1966 in the government of Quebec Premier Jean Lesage.

After losing the 1970 Quebec Liberal Party leadership election to Robert Bourassa, Wagner left politics to return to the bench, receiving appointment once more as a Sessions Court judge. He then entered federal politics, and was elected as the Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament for Saint-Hyacinthe in the 1972 federal election. [7] He was re-elected in the 1974 election, and stood as a candidate at the Progressive Conservative leadership convention of 1976.

Wagner attracted support from Tories who believed that having a leader from Quebec would enable the party to break the federal Liberal Party's stranglehold on the province and from right-wing Tories attracted by his law and order reputation. He was hurt by revelations of a slush fund that was funded by supporters so that he would be financially solvent if he lost in 1972. Wagner led on the first three ballots of the Convention but lost to Joe Clark by 65 votes out of 2,309 on the fourth ballot.

In 1978, he was elevated to the Senate of Canada by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and sat as a Progressive Conservative. [8] One reason for his departure from the House of Commons was that he could not get along well with Clark. [9] He died of cancer the next year at the age of 54. [10]

His son, Richard, also pursued a career in the judiciary, eventually being nominated to sit on the Supreme Court of Canada in 2012, and who became Chief Justice of Canada in 2017. [11]

See also

Related Research Articles

John Turner 17th Prime Minister of Canada

John Napier Wyndham Turner is a Canadian politician and lawyer who served as the 17th prime minister of Canada from June 30 to September 17, 1984.

Joe Clark 16th Prime Minister of Canada

Charles Joseph Clark is a Canadian elder statesman, businessman, writer, and politician who served as the 16th prime minister of Canada, from June 4, 1979, to March 3, 1980.

Liberal Party of Canada Oldest federal political party in Canada

The Liberal Party of Canada is the longest-serving and oldest active federal political party in Canada. The party has dominated federal politics for much of Canada's history. The Liberals held power for almost 70 years in the 20th century, which is more than any other party in a developed country. As a result, it has sometimes been referred to as Canada's "natural governing party".

Robert Stanfield Canadian politician, Premier of Nova Scotia and Federal Leader of the Queens Loyal Opposition

Robert Lorne Stanfield, was the 17th Premier of Nova Scotia and leader of the federal Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. He was born into an affluent Nova Scotia clothing manufacturing and political family in 1914. He graduated from Dalhousie University and Harvard Law School in the 1930s. Stanfield became the leader of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party in 1948, and after a rebuilding period, led the party to government in 1956. As premier, he won three straight elections. His government was credited with modernizing the way the province delivered education and medical services. In 1967, he resigned as premier and became the leader of the federal Progressive Conservative Party. He was the leader of the Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition and fought three general elections, losing each time to the Liberals under Pierre Trudeau. He resigned as leader in 1976 and from public office in 1979. In retirement, he lived mostly in Ottawa, and died there in 2003 from complications due to pneumonia. He is sometimes referred to as "the best prime minister Canada never had". As one of Canada's most distinguished and respected statesmen, he was one of several people granted the style "The Right Honourable" who were not so entitled by virtue of an office held.

Sterling Lyon Canadian politician

Sterling Rufus Lyon, was a Canadian lawyer, cabinet minister, and the 17th Premier of Manitoba from 1977 to 1981. His government introduced several fiscally-conservative measures, and was sometimes seen as a local version of the government of Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom. He also successfully fought for the inclusion of the notwithstanding clause in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Alfred Brian Peckford, PC is a Canadian politician who served as the third Premier of Newfoundland between March 26, 1979, and March 22, 1989. Peckford was born and raised in Whitbourne; before entering politics he worked as a teacher.

William Heward Grafftey, was a Canadian politician and businessman.

William Bennett Campbell, was a politician and the 24th premier of Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Roland "Roy" McMurtry, is a lawyer, politician, and former judge in Ontario, Canada. He was a Progressive Conservative member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1975 to 1985. He served in the cabinet of Bill Davis as Attorney General and Solicitor General. After leaving politics he served as High Commissioner of Canada to the United Kingdom between 1985 and 1988. McMurtry later became Chief Justice of Ontario.

Marc Lalonde, is a Canadian retired politician and Cabinet minister.

Allan Frederick Lawrence, was a Canadian politician and served as both a provincial and federal cabinet minister.

John Henry "Jack" Horner was a Canadian rancher, politician, and Cabinet minister.

Roch La Salle, was a Canadian politician who served in the province of Quebec. He represented the riding of Joliette in the House of Commons of Canada for 20 years. A popular figure, he was re-elected six times during his tenure.

1976 Progressive Conservative leadership election

The 1976 Progressive Conservative leadership election was held at the Ottawa Civic Centre in Ottawa on February 22, 1976, to elect a leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada to replace Robert Stanfield, who had resigned after losing the 1968, 1972, and 1974 elections. It unexpectedly elected a 36-year-old, little-known PC Member of Parliament from Alberta as the party's new leader. Joe Clark defeated Claude Wagner on the fourth ballot of the convention by a margin of 65 votes.

James Armstrong Richardson Jr., was a Canadian Cabinet minister under Pierre Trudeau and a Winnipeg businessman.

Louis Plamondon is a Canadian politician who has represented Bécancour—Nicolet—Saurel in the House of Commons since 1984, making him the Dean of the House, the longest-serving current member of the House of Commons.

Terrance Patrick O'Connor, QC is a former politician in Ontario, Canada. He served in the House of Commons of Canada from 1972 to 1974, and in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1985 to 1987. O'Connor was a member of the Progressive Conservative Party. From 1993 to 2015 he was a judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Eldon Woolliams Canadian politician

Eldon Mattison Woolliams, was a Canadian politician and lawyer. Wooliams served as a Progressive Conservative Party member of the House of Commons of Canada.

1998 Progressive Conservative leadership election

The 1998 Progressive Conservative leadership election was held on October 24 and November 14, 1998 to choose a successor to Jean Charest. This was the first time the Progressive Conservatives used a one member, one vote system to choose a leader rather than a delegated leadership convention, which has been the norm since 1927. The 1998 election used a point system that allocated 100 points to each riding, regardless of the number of votes cast in the riding. The candidate who won a majority of points would win the leadership. All party members were eligible to cast a vote. If no candidate received a majority of points on the first ballot, the lowest ranking candidate would be automatically eliminated and a second ballot was to be held using a preferential ballot if more than two candidates remained. The 100-point-per-riding system was again used by the Conservative Party of Canada in their 2004 and 2017 leadership elections.

David Lametti Canadian lawyer

David T. Lametti is the current Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. He is a Canadian legal scholar and Liberal politician, and was a Professor of Law at McGill University, a member of the Institute of Comparative Law, and a founding member of the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy.


  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-08-23. Retrieved 2012-10-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. Ian MacDonald (January 8, 1966). "Watch Quebec's Own Gangbuster". The Vancouver Sun . Retrieved April 21, 2009.
  4. "Pepin's defeat, Wagner victory fail to stop Liberals from retaining majority in Quebec". The Globe and Mail, October 31, 1972.
  5. "Trudeau finds a Senate seat for Claude Wagner". The Globe and Mail, April 22, 1979.
  6. Sawatsky, Mulroney: The Politics of Ambition
  7. "Quebec senator was ex-Tory MP". The Globe and Mail, July 12, 1979.
  8. Sean Fine (12 December 2017). "Richard Wagner named new Supreme Court Chief Justice". The Globe and Mail.