|Member of the Canadian Parliament |
October 30, 1972 –April 20, 1978
|Preceded by||Théogène Ricard|
|Succeeded by||Marcel Ostiguy|
|Member of the National Assembly of Quebec for Verdun|
December 31, 1968 –February 16, 1970
|Preceded by||District was created|
|Succeeded by||Lucien Caron|
|Member of the National Assembly of Quebec for Montréal-Verdun|
October 5, 1964 –December 30, 1968
|Preceded by||George O'Reilly|
|Succeeded by||District was abolished|
|Senator for Kennebec, Quebec|
April 21, 1978 –July 11, 1979
|Appointed by||Pierre Trudeau|
|Preceded by||Jean-Pierre Côté|
|Succeeded by||Guy Charbonneau|
|Born||April 4, 1925|
Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada
|Died||July 11, 1979 54)(aged|
|Political party||Progressive Conservative|
|Quebec Liberal Party|
Minister of Justice
Claude Wagner, – 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.(April 4, 1925
Wagner was born in Shawinigan, Quebec, the son of Corona (née Saint-Arnaud) and Benjamin Wagner.His father, a violinist, was a German Jewish immigrant from Bavaria. His mother was French-Canadian and Catholic, and Wagner practiced Roman Catholicism.
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.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.One reason for his departure from the House of Commons was that he could not get along well with Clark. He died of cancer the next year at the age of 54.
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.
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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.
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