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BC's Jimmy Sinclair (Trudeau's father-in-law)
After the death of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, his Sinclair
connection was mentioned on this list. You may recall that in 1971 our charismatic
Prime Minister Trudeau, considered a confirmed bachelor at 51, married 22-year-old
Margaret Sinclair. They had 3 sons together. For those interested, following
is the Encyclopedia of British Columbia's fairly brief entry on Pierre's father-in-law.
SINCLAIR, James "Jimmy," politician (b 26 May 1908, Banff, Scotland; d 7 Feb
1984, WVancouver). His parents brought him to Vancouver as a toddler. After
graduating in engineering from UBC he won a Rhodes Scholarship to study at
Oxford Univ in England. He returned to BC in 1931 and taught school, became
an organizer for the provincial Liberal Party and worked as an assistant to
a government minister in Victoria. When WWII began he joined the RCAF and saw
action in North Africa. Meanwhile he was elected to parliament for the Liberals
in 1940, for the Coast-Capilano riding. He proved to be an independent-minded
MP and ran afoul of Prime Minister Mackenzie King, but once Louis St Laurent
became Liberal leader and prime minister in 1948, his careeer picked up speed.
After a stint as assistant to the finance minister, Sinclair joined the cabinet
in Oct 1952 as fisheries minister, a position he held until the Liberals were
defeated in 1957. In 1955 he became the first Canadian minister to visit the
Soviet Union. After losing his seat in the Conservative landslide of 1958 he
pursued business interests until his retirement. One of his daughters, Margaret,
married Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in 1971 (see Margaret Kemper).
I recall seeing a Department of Fisheries vessel named the James Sinclair moored
in Victoria's Inner Harbour.
There was an earlier James Sinclair in BC, a fur trader whose name was given
to Sinclair Hot Springs in the Rockies. (Their name was changed to Radium Hot
Springs in 1915, but the Sinclair name is still remembered.)
And today there's the Jim Sinclair who's a labour activist from the Canadian
Auto Workers and current president of the BC Federation of Labour.
The Encyclopedia of British Columbia, by Daniel Francis, ISBN 1-55017-200-X,
is copyright 2000, Harbour Publishing, and costs about C$100. It is one large
volume that also includes a CD-ROM - the Interactive Enclopedia of BC, www.knowbc.com,
which is an ongoing project.
Claire Toynbee <email@example.com>
Internet service provided by telus.net http://www.telus.net/
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