Douglas Abbott

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Douglas Abbott

Douglas Charles Abbott.jpg
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Saint-Antoine—Westmount
In office
Preceded by Robert Smeaton White
Succeeded by George Carlyle Marler
Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
In office
July 1, 1954 December 23, 1973
Nominated by Louis St. Laurent
Preceded by Patrick Kerwin
Succeeded by Louis-Philippe de Grandpré
Personal details
Douglas Charles Abbott

(1899-05-29)May 29, 1899
Lennoxville, Quebec
DiedMarch 15, 1987(1987-03-15) (aged 87)
Political party Liberal
Children Anthony Abbott
Alma mater Bishop's University, McGill Law School, Université de Dijon
CabinetMinister of National Defence for Naval Services (1945-1946)
Minister of National Defence (1945-1946)
Minister of Finance and Receiver General(1946-1954)
Military service
Service/branch Non-Permanent Active Militia
Years of service1916-1918
Rank Gunner (NPAM) [1]
Unit7th (McGill) Siege Battery, Canadian Garrison Artillery, Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery

Douglas Charles Abbott, PC (May 29, 1899 March 15, 1987) was a Canadian Member of Parliament, federal Cabinet Minister, and justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. Abbott's appointment directly from the Cabinet of Canada as Finance Minister to the Supreme Court is considered one of the most controversial in the Supreme Court's history. [2]

Queens Privy Council for Canada

The Queen's Privy Council for Canada, sometimes called Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada or simply the Privy Council, is the full group of personal consultants to the monarch of Canada on state and constitutional affairs. Responsible government, though, requires the sovereign or her viceroy, the Governor General of Canada, to almost always follow only that advice tendered by the Cabinet: a committee within the Privy Council composed usually of elected Members of Parliament. Those summoned to the QPC are appointed for life by the governor general as directed by the Prime Minister of Canada, meaning that the group is composed predominantly of former cabinet ministers, with some others having been inducted as an honorary gesture. Those in the council are accorded the use of an honorific style and post-nominal letters, as well as various signifiers of precedence.

Canadians citizens of Canada

Canadians are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, several of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Canadian.

Supreme Court of Canada highest court of Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court of Canada, the final court of appeals in the Canadian justice system. The court grants permission to between 40 and 75 litigants each year to appeal decisions rendered by provincial, territorial and federal appellate courts. Its decisions are the ultimate expression and application of Canadian law and binding upon all lower courts of Canada, except to the extent that they are overridden or otherwise made ineffective by an Act of Parliament or the Act of a provincial legislative assembly pursuant to section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.


Early life

Abbott was born in Lennoxville, Quebec. He attended Bishop's University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts. He then attended McGill Law School, but interrupted his studies to sign up for service overseas, in 1916. Returning from the Great War, he completed his legal studies, earning his Bachelor of Civil Law. He then went to France to attend the Université de Dijon. [3] Returning to Canada, he was called to the Barreau du Québec in 1921 and practised law in Montreal with the firm of Fleet, Phelan, Fleet & Le Mesurier.

Lennoxville, Quebec Borough in Quebec, Canada

Lennoxville is an arrondissement, or borough, of the city of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. Lennoxville is located at the confluence of the St. Francis and Massawippi Rivers approximately five kilometres south of downtown Sherbrooke.

Bishops University English-language university in Lennoxville, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada

Bishop's University is a small liberal arts college in Lennoxville, a borough of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. It is one of three universities in the province of Quebec that teach primarily in English. The university shares a campus with its neighbour, Champlain College Lennoxville, an English-language public college. It remains one of Canada's few primarily undergraduate universities, and is linked with three others in the Maple League. Established in 1843 as Bishop's College and affiliated with the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge in 1853, the school remained under the Anglican church's direction from its founding until 1947. Since that time, the university has been a non-denominational institution. Bishop's University has graduated fifteen Rhodes Scholars. It is ranked number one in Canada for student satisfaction by Maclean's magazine.

A Bachelor of Arts is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus should not be confused with baccalaureatus, which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in some countries.

Political career

Abbott successfully stood for election to the House of Commons in 1940, and remained a member of the House for fourteen years. A member of the Liberal Party of Canada, Abbott served as both Minister of National Defence (1945-46) and Minister of Finance (1946-54).

Liberal Party of Canada oldest federal political party in Canada

The Liberal Party of Canada is the oldest and longest-serving governing political party in Canada. The Liberals form the current government, elected in 2015. The party has dominated federal politics for much of Canada's history, holding power for almost 69 years in the 20th century—more than any other party in a developed country—and as a result, it is sometimes referred to as Canada's "natural governing party".

Minister of National Defence (Canada) minister in the Cabinet of Canada

The Minister of National Defence is a Minister of the Crown and is the politician within the Cabinet of Canada responsible for the management and direction of all matters relating to the national defence of Canada. The Department of National Defence is headed by the Deputy Minister of National Defence, the department's senior civil servant, while the Canadian Armed Forces are headed by the Chief of the Defence Staff, Canada's senior serving military officer. Both are responsible to the Minister. The Queen of Canada is the Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces and has final authority on all orders and laws for the "defence of the realm". The minister is responsible, through the tenets of responsible government, to Parliament for "the management and direction of the Canadian Forces". Any orders and instructions for the Canadian Armed Forces are issued by or through the Chief of the Defence Staff. The Department of National Defence exists to aid the minister in carrying out his responsibilities, and acts as the civilian support system for the Canadian Forces.

Minister of Finance (Canada) minister in the Cabinet of Canada

The Minister of Finance is the Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet who is responsible each year for presenting the federal government's budget. It is one of the most important positions in the Cabinet.

Supreme Court justice

He was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on July 1, 1954 [2] and served as Puisne Justice until December 23, 1973.

Abbott was appointed to the court directly from the Liberal Party of Canada's Cabinet, where he had served the previous 7 years as Finance Minister. [2] The appointment is considered one of the most controversial in the history of the Supreme Court. [2] It was the first appointment directly from cabinet since the 1911 appointment of Louis-Philippe Brodeur. [2] As of 2019, Abbott was the last Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada appointed directly to the Court from the Cabinet of Canada, and the last Justice to have held elected office prior to his appointment.[ citation needed ]

Louis-Philippe Brodeur Canadian politician

Louis-Philippe Brodeur, baptised Louis-Joseph-Alexandre Brodeur was a Canadian journalist, lawyer, politician, federal Cabinet minister, Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, and puisne justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Cabinet of Canada is a body of ministers of the Crown that, along with the Canadian monarch, and within the tenets of the Westminster system, forms the government of Canada. Chaired by the prime minister, the Cabinet is a committee of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and the senior echelon of the Ministry, the membership of the Cabinet and ministry often being co-terminal; as of November 2015 there are no members of the latter who are not also members of the former.

Parliamentary seats

House of Commons

St. Antoine—Westmount and Saint-Antoine—Westmount were federal electoral districts in Quebec, Canada, that were represented in the House of Commons of Canada from 1935 to 1968.

Parliamentary functions


Parliamentary Secretary

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  1. Archives, McGill University (November 11, 2012). "McGill University Archives - McGill Remembers".
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 McCormick, Peter (2000-01-01). Supreme at Last: The Evolution of the Supreme Court of Canada. James Lorimer & Company. ISBN   9781550286922.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 The International Who's Who 1972-73. London: Europa Publications. 1972. p. 2. ISBN   0900362480.
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
Robert Smeaton White
Member of Parliament for Saint-Antoine—Westmount
Succeeded by
George Carlyle Marler