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|8th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario|
November 18, 1897 –April 19, 1903
|Monarchs|| Victoria |
|Governors General|| The Earl of Aberdeen |
The Earl of Minto
|Premier|| Arthur Sturgis Hardy |
George William Ross
|Preceded by||Casimir Gzowski|
|Succeeded by||William Mortimer Clark|
|3rd Premier of Ontario|
October 25,1872 –July 12,1896
|Lieutenant Governor|| William Pearce Howland |
John Willoughby Crawford
Donald A. Macdonald
John Beverley Robinson
George Airey Kirkpatrick
|Preceded by||Edward Blake|
|Succeeded by||Arthur Hardy|
|11th Minister of Justice |
Attorney General of Canada
July 13,1896 –November 17,1897
|Prime Minister||Wilfrid Laurier|
|Preceded by||Arthur Rupert Dickey|
|Succeeded by||David Mills|
|Leader of the Government in the Senate|
August 19,1896 –November 17,1897
|Prime Minister||Wilfrid Laurier|
|Preceded by||Sir Mackenzie Bowell|
|Succeeded by||David Mills|
| Canadian Senator |
July 12,1896 –November 17,1897
|Nominated by||Wilfrid Laurier|
|Preceded by||John Ferguson|
|Succeeded by||William Kerr|
|Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament |
for Oxford North
November 29,1872 –July 14,1896
|Preceded by||George Perry|
|Succeeded by||Andrew Pattulo|
|Died||April 19,1903 82) (aged|
|Resting place||Mount Pleasant Cemetery,Toronto|
|Political party||Ontario Liberal Party|
Sir Oliver Mowat GCMG PC QC (July 22,1820 –April 19,1903) was a Canadian lawyer,politician,and Ontario Liberal Party leader. He served for nearly 24 years as the third premier of Ontario. He was the eighth lieutenant governor of Ontario and one of the Fathers of Confederation. He is best known for defending successfully the constitutional rights of the provinces in the face of the centralizing tendency of the national government as represented by his longtime Conservative adversary,John A. Macdonald. This longevity and power was due to his maneuvering to build a political base around Liberals,Catholics,trade unions,and anti-French-Canadian sentiment. 
Mowat was born in Kingston,Upper Canada (now Ontario),to John Mowat and Helen Levack,Scottish Presbyterians  who both emigrated from Caithness,Scotland.  As a youth,he had taken up arms with the loyalists during the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837,which suggested a conservative inclination in politics. But he instead joined the Reformers.
Mowat was called to the bar of Upper Canada on November 5,1841. In 1846,he married Jane Ewart,a daughter of John Ewart of Toronto. Mowat and his wife had three sons and four daughters. In 1856 Mowat was appointed Queen's Counsel.
He was known to be a tenacious legal practitioner,with two of his cases being upheld by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. In the 1858 case Bowes v. City of Toronto,John George Bowes (previously mayor of Toronto) was successfully sued for recovery of the share of the profit he was suspected to have made in collaboration with co-premier Francis Hincks out of a speculation in city debentures.  Afterwards,Mowat admitted,"I cannot speak with much force unless I have an opponent,and things are said by others which I do not altogether coincide with."
Mowat first entered politics as an alderman of the City of Toronto in 1857. From there,he became a member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada for South Ontario. As a member of the Assembly from 1858 to 1867,he was closely associated with George Brown. Mowat served as Provincial Secretary (1858) and Postmaster-General (1863–1864) in the pre-Confederation governments of George Brown and John Sandfield Macdonald for the Liberal Party of Canada.
Mowat was a member of the Great Coalition government of 1864 and was a representative at that year's Quebec Conference,where he helped work out the division of powers between the federal and provincial governments. On November 14,1864,he was appointed to the judiciary as Vice-Chancellor of the Court of Chancery of Upper Canada,  He held this position until he was appointed premier on October 25,1872. One of the more notable cases during his time on the Court was Dickson v Burnham in 1868,  whose underlying jurisprudence would be altered during his later time as Premier,with the passage of the Rivers and Streams Act,1884. 
Mowat served as provincial member for the riding of Oxford North,about 150 km west of Toronto,for his entire term as premier.
As premier in the 1880s a series of disputes with the Dominion arose over Provincial boundaries,  jurisdiction over liquor licenses,  trade and commerce,  rivers and streams,  timber,  mineral rights  and other matters. In 1890,it was said:
The attacks made on Provincial Rights he has succeeded in repelling. Not a single case remains unfinished; not a single case did he lose. 
These court battles resulted in a weakening of the power of the federal government in provincial matters. Although Macdonald had dismissed him as "Blake's jackal", Mowat's battles with the federal government greatly decentralized Canada, giving the provinces far more power than Macdonald had intended.
He also served as his own Attorney-General concurrently with his service as Premier, and introduced reforms such as the secret ballot in elections,  and the extension of suffrage beyond property owners.  He also extended laws regulating liquor  and consolidated the laws relating to the municipal level of government.  His policies, particularly regarding liquor regulation and separate schools, routinely drew criticism from political conservatives, including the Orange Lodge and its associated newspaper, The Sentinel. 
The boundary between Ontario and Manitoba became a hotly contested matter, with the federal government attempting to extend Manitoba's jurisdiction eastward to the Great Lakes, into the areas that Ontario claimed. In 1882, Premier Mowat threatened to pull Ontario from Confederation over the issue. Mowat sent police into the disputed territory to assert Ontario's claims, while Manitoba (at the behest of the national government) did the same.  The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Britain, serving as Canada's highest appeal court, repeatedly issued rulings taking the side of provincial rights. These decisions would to some extent neutralize the power of the central government, creating a more decentralized federation. John Ibbitson writes that by 1914:
George William Ross praised Mowat's ability to read the public mind, and John Stephen Willison remarked that his political genius rose from "the fact that for so long he had a generous support from the liquor interest and a still more generous support from Prohibitionists".
His government was moderate and attempted to cut across divisions in the province between Roman Catholics and Protestants as well as between country and city. He also oversaw the northward expansion of Ontario's boundaries and the development of its natural resources, as well as the emergence of the province into the economic powerhouse of Canada. 
Mowat's nearly 24 years as premier of Ontario remains the longest consecutive service by any premier in Ontario history, and is the third longest by any premier in Canada, behind only George Henry Murray of Nova Scotia and Ernest Manning of Alberta.
In 1896, the leader of the opposition, Wilfrid Laurier, convinced Mowat to enter federal politics. It was thought that the combination of a French Canadian (Laurier) and the prestige of Oliver Mowat in Ontario would be a winning ticket for the Liberal party. The slogan was "Laurier, Mowat and Victory". Victory was won, and Mowat became Minister of Justice and Senator.
In 1897, he was appointed the eighth Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and served until his death in office in 1903. He is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto.
The two former Kingston law partners, Macdonald as prime minister in Ottawa and Mowat as premier in Toronto, led their respective governments during the same era for a total of 14 years. Mowat was premier for just under 24 years.
Mowat's daughter, Jane Helen Mowat, married Charles Robert Webster Biggar, who wrote a two-volume biography of Mowat in 1905. Their son Oliver Mowat Biggar became Canada's first Chief Electoral Officer. Sir Oliver Mowat's son Frederick Mowat was the grandfather of the diabetologist Andrew Almon Fletcher. 
Sir Oliver Mowat was also the great-granduncle of the Canadian author, Farley Mowat. 
Mowat was knighted in 1892, increasing his importance in Canada.
Mowat was himself the author of two small books in the field of Christian apologetics:
Mowat also documented his government's first 18 years of Ontario government (from 1872 to 1890) in an 1890 book.
After his death, Wilfrid Laurier placed Mowat's policy of sectarian tolerance second in historical importance only to his role in giving Confederation its character as a federal compact. He credited Mowat with giving Ontario "a Government which can be cited as a model for all Governments: a Government which was honest, progressive, courageous, and tolerant". 
By nature a secretive individual, he left instructions in his will that resulted in the destruction of nearly all his papers.
Mowat is honoured by a statue in Queen's Park. Mowat Avenue in Kingston is named in his honour.
Mowat is the inspiration for the naming of The Mowat Centre, an independent Canadian public policy think tank associated with the School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Toronto.
The Sir Oliver Mowat Collegiate Institute in Toronto was named in his honour.
Queen's University organized a two-day historical colloquium in 1970 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Mowat's birth.
Mowat was portrayed by David Onley (the 28th Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario) in the Canadian TV series Murdoch Mysteries in 2013 in the episode "The Ghost of Queen's Park." 
Mowat was portrayed by Kingston actor Patrick Downes, in 2015, in Kingston-based Salon Theatre's stage productions featuring the life of John A. Macdonald, staged during the Bicentennial celebrations of Macdonald's birth. 
The building where Mowat and Macdonald practiced law together in the 1830s, on the east side of Wellington Street between Princess and Brock Streets in Kingston, was renovated, restored, and expanded, from 2014–18, but has had its heritage elements preserved, insofar as possible, under direction from Kingston City Council. The building re-opened as the 'Kensington' in 2018, and now features, on its street level, an alley portraying historical and heritage aspects of its past, along with the Macdonald-Mowat relationship.
Sir John Alexander Macdonald was the first prime minister of Canada, serving from 1867 to 1873 and from 1878 to 1891. The dominant figure of Canadian Confederation, he had a political career that spanned almost half a century.
Sir Henri Charles Wilfrid Laurier, was a Canadian lawyer, statesman, and politician who served as the seventh prime minister of Canada from 1896 to 1911. The first French Canadian prime minister, his 15-year tenure remains the longest unbroken term of office among Canadian prime ministers and his nearly 45 years of service in the House of Commons is a record for the House. Laurier is best known for his compromises between English and French Canada.
Sir Kazimierz Stanisław Gzowski,, was an engineer known for his work on a wide variety of Canadian railways as well as work on the Welland Canal. He also served as acting Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 1896 to 1897.
Events from the year 1887 in Canada.
Events from the year 1889 in Canada.
Events from the year 1896 in Canada.
Events from the year 1886 in Canada.
The 1896 Canadian federal election was held on June 23, 1896, to elect members of the House of Commons of Canada of the 8th Parliament of Canada. Though the Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Charles Tupper, won a plurality of the popular vote, the Liberal Party, led by Wilfrid Laurier, won the majority of seats to form the next government. The election ended 18 years of Conservative rule.
John Sandfield Macdonald, was the joint premier of the Province of Canada from 1862 to 1864. He was also the first premier of Ontario from 1867 to 1871, one of the four founding provinces created at Confederation in 1867. He served as both premier and attorney general of Ontario from July 16, 1867, to December 20, 1871.
Arthur Sturgis Hardy, was a Canadian lawyer and Liberal politician who served as the fourth premier of Ontario from 1896 to 1899.
Alexander Morris was a Canadian politician. He served in the cabinet of Prime Minister John A. Macdonald (1869–1872), and was the second Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba (1872–1877). He also served as the founder and first Lieutenant Governor of the District of Keewatin.
Sir Richard John Cartwright was a Canadian businessman and politician.
The history of Ontario covers the period from the arrival of Paleo-Indians thousands of years ago to the present day. The lands that make up present-day Ontario, the most populous province of Canada as of the early 21st century have been inhabited for millennia by groups of Aboriginal people, with French and British exploration and colonization commencing in the 17th century. Before the arrival of Europeans, the region was inhabited both by Algonquian and Iroquoian tribes.
The Province of Ontario is governed by a unicameral legislature, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, which operates in the Westminster system of government. The political party that wins the largest number of seats in the legislature normally forms the government, and the party's leader becomes premier of the province, i.e., the head of the government.
The Great Coalition was a grand coalition of political parties that brought an end to political deadlock in the Province of Canada. It existed from May 1864 until Confederation in 1867.
Citizens Insurance Co of Canada v Parsons is a major Canadian constitutional case decided by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, at that time the highest court of appeal for the British Empire. The case decided a significant issue of the division of powers between the federal Parliament and the provincial legislatures. The approach taken to provincial power, as advocated by Premier Oliver Mowat of Ontario, began to set the constitutional framework for broad provincial powers and a reduction in the centralist vision of Confederation espoused by Prime Minister John A. Macdonald.
Post-Confederation Canada (1867–1914) is history of Canada from the formation of the Dominion to the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Canada had a population of 3.5 million, residing in the large expanse from Cape Breton to just beyond the Great Lakes, usually within a hundred miles or so of the Canada–United States border. One in three Canadians was French, and about 100,000 were aboriginal. It was a rural country composed of small farms. With a population of 115,000, Montreal was the largest city, followed by Toronto and Quebec at about 60,000. Pigs roamed the muddy streets of Ottawa, the small new national capital.
Peter McLaren was a Canadian politician and Senator from Ontario. McLaren was the Plaintiff in McLaren v Caldwell, that resulted in the landmark decision of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council that upheld provincial jurisdiction in matters of a local or private nature, as well as over property and civil rights.
Oliver Mowat Biggar, was a Canadian lawyer and civil servant. He was the second judge advocate general for the Canadian Militia and the first chief electoral officer of Canada. He also served as the first Canadian co-chair of the Canada–United States Permanent Joint Board on Defense. Biggar was well known as a leading Canadian lawyer with expertise in public law and patent law.
Section 58 of the Constitution Act, 1867 is a provision of the Constitution of Canada creating the office of provincial lieutenant governors, and providing for appointment by the Governor General of Canada.