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Robert Henry McGregor

Robert Henry McGregor
Member of Parliament
for York East
In office
1935–1962
Preceded bynew riding
Succeeded bySteve Otto
Member of Parliament
for York South
In office
1926–1935
Preceded byWilliam Findlay Maclean
Succeeded byEarl Lawson
Personal details
Born(1886-03-01)March 1, 1886
DiedJanuary 25, 1965(1965-01-25) (aged 78)
Political partyConservative
National Government
Progressive Conservative
Spouse(s)Olive Linda McGregor (nee Moorcroft) died in 1926. Olive and R.H. McGregor are the parents of Audrey McCrae, Mildred Baechler, Russell McGregor. 2nd spouse, Estelle Orr[1]
ProfessionHorticulturist

Robert Henry McGregor, PC (March 1, 1886 – October 25, 1965) was a long-time Canadian parliamentarian.

MacGregor was a contractor and horticulturalist by profession. He grew up in the Todmorden area of suburban Toronto, and was once an Elementary School student of a teacher named William Thomas Diefenbaker. His initial experience in politics began in 1912 when he was appointed a school trustee for York Township. Following the formation of North York Township, he eventually became the first reeve of East York. In 1922, R.H. McGregor Elementary School, located in the eventual centre of East York, was erected and named in his honour.

He was first elected to the House of Commons of Canada in the 1926 federal election and sat continuously in the chamber for thirty-six years until his defeat in the 1962 federal election when he was 79 years old.[2]

Originally elected as the Conservative Member of Parliament for York South, he switched to the new Toronto riding of York East when it was created for the 1935 federal election. He won election a total of eight consecutive times[2] and was Dean of the House of Commons being its longest-serving member in the last years of his career.[3]

Despite his long tenure in the House of Commons he spoke rarely and was nicknamed "Silent Bob" McGregor. His only recorded Parliamentary speech occurred when being feted in the House on his 74th birthday. On that occasion he remarked "If a good many hon. Members made fewer speeches in the House, they would be here longer."[1][3]

Though never a member of Cabinet, he was elevated to the Queen's Privy Council for Canada on December 21, 1960, on Diefenbaker's recommendation in recognition of McGregor's long tenure of service.[4]

Electoral record

1935 Canadian federal election: York East
Party Candidate Votes
  Conservative Robert Henry McGregor 11,634
  Liberal Goldie Fleming 8,922
  Co-operative Commonwealth Arthur Henry Williams 7,864
Reconstruction John Warren 4,054
  Independent Liberal Denis McCarthy 975
1940 Canadian federal election: York East
Party Candidate Votes
  National Government Robert Henry McGregor 16,741
  Liberal Robert Allan Irwin 12,429
  Co-operative Commonwealth Edward Bigelow (Ted) Jolliffe 4,931
1945 Canadian federal election: York East
Party Candidate Votes
  Progressive Conservative Robert Henry McGregor 19,908
  Liberal Donald Robert Morrison 14,036
  Co-operative Commonwealth Frederick C. Madill 8,654
Labor–Progressive John Francis White 465
Social Credit Carl Clark Pinkney 355
1949 Canadian federal election: York East
Party Candidate Votes
  Progressive Conservative Robert Henry McGregor 22,364
  Liberal Walter Melville Martin 21,398
  Co-operative Commonwealth Frederick C. Madill 13,448
1953 Canadian federal election: York East
Party Candidate Votes
  Progressive Conservative Robert Henry McGregor 11,062
  Liberal Joseph Douglas Thomas 8,701
  Co-operative Commonwealth True Davidson 5,815
Labor–Progressive Margery Ferguson 472
1957 Canadian federal election: York East
Party Candidate Votes
  Progressive Conservative Robert Henry McGregor 17,236
  Liberal Ray S. Tower 9,078
  Co-operative Commonwealth Sid Dunkley 6,725
Social Credit Henry F. Motton 620
1958 Canadian federal election: York East
Party Candidate Votes
  Progressive Conservative Robert Henry McGregor 22,900
  Liberal Ray. S. Tower 8,317
  Co-operative Commonwealth Sid Dunkley 6,033
1962 Canadian federal election: York East
Party Candidate Votes
  Liberal Steve Otto 16,963
  Progressive Conservative Robert Henry McGregor 16,827
  New Democratic Party Sid Dunkley 10,940
Social Credit Norman Elston 609

References

  1. ^ a b "Robert H. McGregor - In Commons 36 Years, Made One Speech / Deaths". The Globe and Mail. 26 October 1965. p. 43.
  2. ^ a b Robert Henry McGregor – Parliament of Canada biography
  3. ^ a b The Role of the Speaker of the House of Commons, Speech by Peter Milliken at the University Club of Toronto October 25, 2001. (Accessed February 17, 2007)
  4. ^ Silent Dean of Commons Takes Oath as Privy Council Member The Globe and Mail (1936-2016); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]22 Dec 1960: 3
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Robert Henry McGregor
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