Really Weird Facts About Canadian Prime Ministers

May 19, 2016

Trivia books—even ours—are full of fun facts about American presidents. Well, President Taft may have gotten stuck in a bathtub and Abe Lincoln was once a bartender, but they were never the judge on a reality show.
Weird Facts About Canadian Prime Ministers

  • Newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the first second-generation leader of Canada (his father was Pierre Trudeau), the second youngest in Canadian history (he’s 43), and he’s participated in several charity boxing matches. He also starred in a made-for-TV movie. In 2007 he starred in the CBC’s The Great War as Talbot Papineau, a lawyer and heroic soldier who fought for Canada in World War II. (In the clip, he’s the guy with the mustache…and the dog.)

  • In 1993, Kim Campbell became the first woman to be prime minister of Canada…and she served for the third-shortest period of time, just 123 days. Her term was so brief she never moved into the official PM residence at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa because her predecessor Brian Mulroney took so long to move out.
  • In 2006, an annual essay contest for young Canadians about how they would serve the country if elected prime minister became a reality show on The Next Great Prime Minister. Hosted by Canadian game show host Alex Trebek, contestants aged 18 to 25 answered questions about leadership, politics, and world events. The judging panel, which determined which young Canadian received $50,000 and an internship: Kim Campbell, Brian Mulroney, Joe Clark, and John Turner, all former Canadian prime ministers themselves.
  • PM Lester Pearson was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1957 for his role in helping the U.N. resolve the crisis revolving around ownership of the Suez Canal. Egypt peacefully prevailed over the U.K. thanks to Pearson’s negotiating, but some in Canada criticized the actions because his actions were seen as a betrayal to the U.K., with whom Canada is traditionally and politically tied.
  • The first prime minister of Canada was John A. Macdonald. He established relations with the States in 1864…the Confederate States. He allowed Canada to be a refuge for Confederates who wanted to keep their slaves and flee. In fact, the reason why he established Canada as a confederation is in sympathies with the Confederate States of America.
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