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Peter Veniot

Peter John Veniot
Peter J. Veniot as Postmaster General
18th Premier of New Brunswick
In office
February 28, 1923 – September 14, 1925
MonarchGeorge V
Lieutenant GovernorWilliam Pugsley
William Frederick Todd
Preceded byWalter E. Foster
Succeeded byJohn B. M. Baxter
MLA for Gloucester
In office
November 5, 1894 – January 6, 1900
Preceded byThéotime Blanchard
Succeeded byJohn Young
In office
February 24, 1917 – September 14, 1926
Serving with James P. Byrne, Ivan Rand, John B. London, Seraphine R. Léger, Jean George Robichaud, J. André Doucet
Preceded byJohn B. Hatchey
Succeeded byClovis-Thomas Richard
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Gloucester
In office
September 14, 1926 – July 6, 1936
Preceded byJean George Robichaud
Succeeded byClarence Joseph Veniot
Personal details
Born(1863-10-04)October 4, 1863
Richibucto, New Brunswick, British North America
DiedJuly 6, 1936(1936-07-06) (aged 72)
Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada
Political partyLiberal
Catherine Melanson
(m. 1885)
Children6 sons
Alma materPictou Academy
Occupationbusinessman and newspaper owner

Peter John Veniot, PC (October 4, 1863 – July 6, 1936) was a businessman and newspaper owner and a politician in New Brunswick, Canada. He was the first Acadian premier of New Brunswick.[1]

Early life and career

He was born in Richibucto, New Brunswick but later moved to Pictou, Nova Scotia with his family. Veniot worked as a journalist and typographer for the Pictou Standard and then the Moncton Transcript. He then moved to Bathurst, where he became editor and later owner of Le Courrier des Provinces Maritimes.

Political career

Veniot was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick in 1894, but left politics in 1900 for a customs job. In 1912, he was hired to reorganize the Liberal Party of New Brunswick, and became a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) again in 1917.

He served in the cabinet of Premier Walter Foster as Minister of Public Works. As Minister, Veniot was responsible for the creation of the New Brunswick Electric Power Commission and the modernization of the province's highway system.

Veniot became Premier in 1923 following Foster's resignation. He was a supporter of the Maritime Rights Movement or Duncan Commission, which advocated more power for the Maritime provinces in Canadian confederation. His government was defeated in the 1925 provincial election.

Veniot resigned as provincial Liberal leader in 1926 in order to enter federal politics in the 1926 federal election. He served as Postmaster General in the cabinet of William Lyon Mackenzie King. In cabinet, Veniot advocated implementation of the Duncan Commission recommendations on alleviating Maritime alienation. Recommendations of freight-rate reductions and subsidy increases were implemented, but suggestions for subsidies based on fiscal need and transportation use to encourage regional development were ignored.


Veniot remained a Member of Parliament until his death at his home in Bathurst in 1936.[2]

Personal life

Married in 1885 to Catherine Melanson,[3] their son Clarence Joseph was elected in the federal riding of Gloucester by-election after his death. He and his wife are interred in Bathurst, in the cemetery adjacent to the offices of the newspaper that made his fortune.

Electoral record

1935 Canadian federal election: Gloucester
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Peter Veniot 11,816 74.96 +24.12
Conservative Albany Robichaud 2,962 18.79 -30.37
Reconstruction Hector Poirier 985 6.25
Total valid votes 15,763 100.00
This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (October 2023) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
1930 Canadian federal election: Gloucester
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Peter Veniot 7,716 50.84 -4.95
Conservative (istorical) Albany Robichaud 7,460 49.16 +4.95
Total valid votes 15,176 100.00
By-election on 2 November 1926

On Peter Veniot's acceptance of an office of
emolument under the Crown, 5 October 1926

Party Candidate Votes
Liberal Peter Veniot Acclaimed


  1. ^ "Pierre Veniot becomes Premier of New Brunswick". Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. 9 December 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Hon. P. Veniot dies At Home At Age Of 72". The Ottawa Journal. 7 July 1936. p. 11. Retrieved 24 December 2016 – via
  3. ^ L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia

Further reading

  • Arthur T. Doyle, The Premiers of New Brunswick, Fredericton: Brunswick Press, 1983. pp. vii-xi; 47-50.
  • Arthur T. Doyle, Front Benches and Back Rooms: A story of corruption, muckraking, raw partisanship and political intrigue in New Brunswick, Toronto: Green Tree Publishing, 1976.
  • Doyle, Frank W. (15 December 1926). "Cabinet Portraits: Hon. Peter J. Veniot". Maclean's. Vol. 39, no. 24. pp. 6–7.
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Peter Veniot
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