Heward Grafftey

Last updated
The Honourable
Heward Grafftey
MP for Brome—Missisquoi
In office
March 31, 1958 June 24, 1968
Preceded by Joseph-Léon Deslières
Succeeded by Yves Forest
In office
October 30, 1972 February 17, 1980
Preceded by Yves Forest
Succeeded by André Bachand
Personal details
BornWilliam Heward Grafftey
(1928-08-05)August 5, 1928
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Died February 11, 2010(2010-02-11) (aged 81)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Political party Progressive Conservative

William Heward Grafftey, PC QC (August 5, 1928 February 11, 2010) was a Canadian politician and businessman.

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.

Queens Counsel jurist appointed by letters patent

A Queen's Counsel, or King's Counsel during the reign of a king, is an eminent lawyer who is appointed by the monarch to be one of "Her Majesty's Counsel learned in the law." The term is recognised as an honorific. The position exists in some Commonwealth jurisdictions around the world, but other Commonwealth countries have either abolished the position, or re-named it to eliminate monarchical connotations, such as "Senior Counsel" or "Senior Advocate". Queen's Counsel is an office, conferred by the Crown, that is recognised by courts. Members have the privilege of sitting within the bar of court.

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.


Early life

Born in Montreal, Quebec, to a wealthy family, he was a nephew of artist Prudence Heward of the Beaver Hall Group, and wrote a chapter on her in the 1996 book Portraits of a Life .

Montreal City in Quebec, Canada

Montreal is the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-most populous municipality in Canada. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. The city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which took its name from the same source as the city, and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard. It has a distinct four-season continental climate with warm to hot summers and cold, snowy winters.

Quebec Province of Canada

Quebec is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is bordered to the west by the province of Ontario and the bodies of water James Bay and Hudson Bay; to the north by Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay; to the east by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador; and to the south by the province of New Brunswick and the U.S. states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. It also shares maritime borders with Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. Quebec is Canada's largest province by area and its second-largest administrative division; only the territory of Nunavut is larger. It is historically and politically considered to be part of Central Canada.

Prudence Heward Canadian artist

Prudence Heward was a Canadian painter principally known for her figure painting with "brilliant acid colours, sculptural treatment, and an intense brooding quality". She was a member of the Beaver Hall Group and a co-founder of the Canadian Group of Painters and the Contemporary Arts Society.

His father, Major Arthur Grafftey, was a First World War hero and board chairman of the Montreal Lumber Company.

Grafftey received a bachelor of arts degree from Mount Allison University, majoring in political science and history, and a bachelor of civil law degree from McGill University. He was admitted to the Bar of Quebec.

Mount Allison University university

Mount Allison University is a primarily undergraduate Canadian liberal arts and science university located in Sackville, New Brunswick. It has been ranked the top undergraduate university in the country 20 times in the past 28 years by Maclean's magazine, a record unmatched by any other university. With a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio, the average first-year class size is 60 and upper-year classes average 14 students.

McGill University English-language university in Montreal, Quebec

McGill University is a public research university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was established in 1821 by royal charter, granted by King George IV. The university bears the name of James McGill, a Montreal merchant originally from Scotland whose bequest in 1813 formed the university's precursor, McGill College.

The Bar of Quebec is the provincial law society in Quebec, Canada. It was founded on May 30, 1849, as the Bar of Lower Canada.

Parliamentary career

Grafftey was first elected to the House of Commons of Canada in the 1958 general election that elected John Diefenbaker's Progressive Conservative Party in a landslide victory. A resident of the Eastern Townships, he was the Member of Parliament (MP) for the riding of Brome—Missisquoi from 1958 to 1968. From 1962 to 1963, Grafftey served as parliamentary secretary to the minister of finance. Due to his relatively short stature and impish looks, Grafftey earned the nickname of "The Gnome from Brome," during his twenty years in politics.

House of Commons of Canada lower house of the Parliament of Canada

The House of Commons of Canada is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Sovereign and the Senate. The House of Commons currently meets in a temporary Commons chamber in the West Block of the parliament buildings on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, while the Centre Block, which houses the traditional Commons chamber, undergoes a ten-year renovation.

John Diefenbaker 13th Prime Minister of Canada

John George Diefenbaker was the 13th prime minister of Canada, serving from June 21, 1957 to April 22, 1963. He was the only Progressive Conservative party leader after 1930 and before 1979 to lead the party to an election victory, doing so three times, although only once with a majority of seats in the House of Commons of Canada.

In the 1964 Great Flag Debate, he was one of a handful of Conservative MPs who broke with leader John Diefenbaker to support the adoption of the Maple Leaf flag. Grafftey sat as a Tory MP until losing his seat in the 1968 Trudeau landslide. During this period, he called for radical reforms to Canada's housing policies. [1]

Great Canadian Flag Debate National debate in Canada about the national flag

The Great Canadian Flag Debate was a national debate that took place in 1963 and 1964 when a new design for the national flag of Canada was chosen.

Tory A conservative political philosophy

A Tory is a person who holds a political philosophy known as Toryism, based on a British version of traditionalism and conservatism, which upholds the supremacy of social order as it has evolved throughout history. The Tory ethos has been summed up with the phrase "God, King, and Country". Tories generally advocate monarchism, and were historically of a high church Anglican religious heritage, opposed to the liberalism of the Whig faction.

Grafftey returned to Parliament in the 1972 election, and was a candidate at the 1976 Progressive Conservative leadership convention, in which he placed last, with 33 delegate votes. Like many of the other challengers in the race who were knocked off in the early ballots, Grafftey supported the eventual leadership race winner Joe Clark.

Parliament of Canada the federal legislative branch of Canada

The Parliament of Canada is the federal legislature of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the national capital. The body consists of the Canadian monarch, represented by a viceroy, the Governor General; an upper house, the Senate; and a lower house, the House of Commons. Each element has its own officers and organization. By constitutional convention, the House of Commons is dominant, with the Senate and monarch rarely opposing its will. The Senate reviews legislation from a less partisan standpoint and the monarch or viceroy provides royal assent to make bills into law.

He served as Minister of State for Social Programs and Minister of State for Science and Technology in the short lived 1979-1980 government of Joe Clark before losing his seat in the 1980 election. Grafftey supported Clark in the 1983 PC leadership convention, and was largely shut out of Quebec PC circles during the Mulroney years.

Later political career

Grafftey attempted to return to Parliament in the 2000 election, but was unsuccessful. After suffering a serious injury which incapacitated him for most of the campaign, he came in third place behind the Bloc Québécois challenger and Liberal incumbent MP Denis Paradis. He did, however, finish with the second highest vote total of any Progressive Conservative candidate in the province of Québec.

In 2002, he was one of the first Progressive Conservatives to openly call for Tory leader Joe Clark's resignation, offering himself as a replacement. [2] Grafftey eventually ran as a leadership candidate in the 2003 PC leadership contest. [3] He ran a campaign that was devoid of defining policy proposals but which focused upon his political experience, his bilingualism and his belief that he could recruit 300,000 new members to help the PCs win the coming election. Although, like most of the candidates in the race, he supported the twin Progressive Conservative pillars of North American free trade and support for decentralizing reforms to the Canadian constitution, he often found himself in agreement with the left wing of his party, sharing maverick candidate David Orchard's opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Grafftey's candidacy received some media attention largely because he was the only candidate in the race who was fluently bilingual (in English and French) and actually had government experience. Yet Grafftey's age (75 at the time) was also mocked by political satirists as an indication of the lack of "new blood" in the PC Party. Grafftey withdrew several days prior to the vote for health reasons. [4] Analysts suggest that Grafftey had 72 committed delegates hailing largely from several Montreal-area ridings. Most of Grafftey's delegates entered the convention as "undeclared delegates". He did not attend the convention, nor did he endorse any other leadership candidate, though many of his rural backers went over to David Orchard.

After the 2003 convention, Grafftey briefly re-entered the political spotlight by joining David Orchard and other former Tories in opposition to a proposed merger of the party with the Canadian Alliance. Grafftey still insisted that he was a "Progressive Conservative". He ran in Brome-Missisquoi for the Progressive Canadian Party in the 2006 federal election and came in fifth place with 1,921 votes - 4% of the total ballots cast.

Other interests

Grafftey was active in business circles up to his death and was the CEO of SafetySense, a company that publishes basic safety booklets for businesses and schools.

In 2001, he wrote a book on the state of Canadian politics entitled Democracy Challenged: How to End One-Party Rule in Canada.

Personal life

He has three children: Arthur Heward, Clement Tae Yong, and Leah Yoon Hee. His marriage to Alida Grace Visser ended in divorce. [5] He neither declared nor denied being gay. “I never had to come out, because it was never an issue. I was never in. I was always me,” he once said. Grafftey declared his sexual orientation when he disrupted and stormed out of a service at St. George's Anglican Church in Montreal after the priest delivered what he considered a homophobic sermon. [5]

Grafftey died February 11, 2010 at the Royal Victoria Hospital from complications from Parkinson's disease. [6] [7]

Further reading

Grafftey, Heward (1988). Safety Sense on the Road. Ottawa: Safety Sense Enterprises. ISBN   9780921653028. 

Grafftey, Heward (1991). Safety Sense at Play. Ottawa: Safety Sense Enterprises. ISBN   9780969556800. 

Grafftey, Heward (1996). Safety Sense: How to Live Safely and Prevent Death and Injury on the Road, at Home, at Play, at Work. Orléans, Ontario: Safety Sense Enterprises. ISBN   9780969556848. 

Grafftey, Heward (1996). Portraits from a Life. Montreal: Véhicule Press. p. 240. ISBN   9781550650778. 

Grafftey, Heward (2002). Democracy Challenged: How to End One-Party Rule in Canada. Montreal: Véhicule Press. ISBN   9781550651584. 

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  1. Winnipeg Free Press, 25 January 1969, p. 11.
  2. "Former Quebec MP says time for Clark to step aside". CBC News. July 9, 2002. Retrieved 2015-06-21.
  3. "Grafftey enters race for Tory leadership". The Chronicle Herald. January 30, 2003. Archived from the original on March 29, 2003. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  4. "Grafftey drops out of Tory race". CBC News. May 22, 2003. Retrieved 2015-06-21.
  5. 1 2 Hustak, Alan (February 11, 2010). "'The bad boy of Montreal's blue bloods' brought common sense to politics". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2015-06-21.
  6. "Long-time MP a dogged champion of social causes". Montreal Gazette. February 13, 2010.[ dead link ]
  7. "Ex-MP Heward Grafftey dies at 81". CBC News. February 12, 2010. Retrieved 2015-06-21.