Charles Gavan Power

Charles Gavan "Chubby" Power, MC PC (18 January 1888 30 May 1968) was a Canadian politician and ice hockey player. Many members of his family, including his father, two brothers, a son and a grandson, all had political careers; two of his brothers also played ice hockey.

Charles Gavan Power
Senator for Gulf
In office
28 July 1955  30 May 1968
Appointed byLouis St. Laurent
Preceded byJoseph Arthur Lesage
Succeeded byPaul Lafond
Member of Parliament for Quebec South
In office
17 December 1917  27 July 1955
Preceded byThe electoral district was created in 1914
Succeeded byFrancis Gavan Power
Postmaster General
In office
19 September 1939  22 May 1940
Preceded byNorman Alexander McLarty
Succeeded byJames Lorimer Ilsley (acting)
Minister of Pensions and National Health
In office
23 October 1935  18 September 1939
Preceded byDonald Matheson Sutherland
Succeeded byIan Alistair Mackenzie
Personal details
Born18 January 1888
Sillery, Quebec, Canada
Died30 May 1968(1968-05-30) (aged 80)
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Resting placeSaint Patrick's Cemetery, Sillery, Quebec, Canada
Political partyLiberal
Military service
Allegiance Canada
Years of service1915-1918
RankActing Major
Battles/warsBattle of the Somme
AwardsMilitary Cross

Life and career

Born in Sillery, Power played ice hockey while studying law. From 1906, he played for the Quebec Bulldogs of the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association (ECAHA). A proficient scorer, he scored four goals in one game in 1908 and five goals in a game in 1909.

Power served overseas in World War I, first as a Captain and then as Acting Major. He entered politics in the 1917 federal election, after having been wounded during the Battle of the Somme. He was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry during military operations. He was elected as a "Laurier Liberal" during the Conscription Crisis of 1917.

In 1935, Power was appointed minister of pensions and health in the Liberal cabinet of William Lyon Mackenzie King.

During World War II, he served as minister of national defence for air, and was responsible for expanding the Royal Canadian Air Force. His opposition to conscription led him to resign from Cabinet during the Conscription Crisis of 1944 after the government passed an Order in Council to send conscripts overseas. Power sat as an "Independent Liberal" for the duration of the war and was re-elected as an Independent Liberal in the 1945 federal election. He subsequently rejoined the party and ran to succeed King in the 1948 Liberal leadership convention, but came a poor third.

Charles Power retired from the House of Commons in 1955. He was appointed to the Senate of Canada on 28 July 1955 and served until his death in 1968.


Power's father, William Power, was also a Member of Parliament from Quebec, retiring in 1917. His brother James was also an ice hockey player; another brother, Joe, was also an ice hockey player, as well as a Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec; another brother, William, became a Liberal member of the Legislative Council of Quebec. His son Frank Power also became a Liberal Member of Parliament, as did his grandson Lawrence Cannon, who also became a Conservative cabinet minister and later as Canadian Ambassador to France.


  • Power, Charles Gavan, 1888–1968 and Ward, Norman, 1918-1990. A party politician: the memoirs of Chubby Power / Edited by Norman Ward. Toronto : Macmillan of Canada, 1966. 419 p. : plates. ; 24 cm.
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
None - new position
Minister of National Defence for Air
Succeeded by
Angus Lewis Macdonald
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.