George McIlraith

George James McIlraith, PC QC (July 29, 1908 – August 19, 1992) was a lawyer and Canadian Parliamentarian.[1]

The Hon.

George James McIlraith
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Ottawa West
In office
Preceded byT. Franklin Ahearn
Succeeded byCyril Lloyd Francis
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Ottawa Centre
In office
Preceded byThe riding was created in 1966.
Succeeded byHugh Poulin
Senator for Ottawa Valley, Ontario
In office
Appointed byPierre Trudeau
Personal details
Born(1908-07-29)July 29, 1908
Lanark, Ontario
DiedAugust 19, 1992(1992-08-19) (aged 84)
Political partyLiberal
CabinetSolicitor General of Canada (1968–1970)
Minister of Public Works (1965–1968)
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (Acting) (1965)
Minister of National Revenue (Acting) (1964)
President of the Privy Council (1964–1965)
Minister of Transport (1963–1964)
PortfolioParliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Reconstruction (1945–1948)
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Trade and Commerce (1948–1953)
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Defence Production (1951–1953)

The son of James McIlraith and Kate McLeod, he was educated at Osgoode Hall and practised law in Ottawa. In 1935, he married Margaret Summers.[2]

McIlraith was first elected to the House of Commons of Canada in the 1940 federal election as the Liberal Member of Parliament for Ottawa West. He was subsequently re-elected on nine successive occasions.[1]

McIlraith joined the Cabinet of Lester Pearson when the Liberals formed government following the 1963 federal election as Minister of Transport. From 1964 until 1967, he was Government House Leader in charge of the Pearson minority government's parliamentary strategy for much of its tenure, including during the Great Flag Debate and parliamentary debates on the introduction of Medicare.[1]

He also served as Pearson's Minister of Public Works from 1965 on, and was also Pierre Trudeau's first public works minister. He served as Solicitor-General of Canada from 1968 until 1970 under Trudeau, who appointed him to the Senate of Canada in 1972.[1]

The George McIlraith Bridge over the Rideau River is named for him.


  1. George McIlraith – Parliament of Canada biography
  2. Johnson, J.K. (1968). The Canadian Directory of Parliament 1867–1967. Public Archives of Canada.
Political offices
Preceded by
Guy Favreau
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Succeeded by
Allan MacEachen
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