Gerald Regan

Gerald Augustine Paul Regan[3] PC QC (February 13, 1928 – November 26, 2019) was a Canadian politician (as federal MP and later as Nova Scotia MLA), who served as the 19th Premier of Nova Scotia from 1970 to 1978.

Gerald Regan

19th Premier of Nova Scotia
In office
October 28, 1970  October 5, 1978
MonarchElizabeth II
Lieutenant GovernorVictor de Bedia Oland
Clarence Gosse
Preceded byG. I. Smith
Succeeded byJohn Buchanan
MLA for Halifax Needham
In office
May 30, 1967  February 18, 1980
Preceded byNew Riding
Succeeded byEdmund L. Morris
MP for Halifax
In office
April 8, 1963  November 8, 1965
Serving with Robert McCleave
Preceded byEdmund Morris
Succeeded byMichael Forrestall
In office
February 18, 1980  September 4, 1984
Preceded byGeorge Cooper
Succeeded byStewart McInnes
Personal details
Gerald Augustine Paul Regan[1]

(1928-02-13)February 13, 1928
Windsor, Nova Scotia, Canada
DiedNovember 26, 2019(2019-11-26) (aged 91)
Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Anita Carole Thomas Harrison[2]

Early life and education

Regan was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, the son of Rose Mary (née Greene) and Walter Edward Regan.[4][5] He has Irish ancestry.[4] Regan graduated from Dalhousie Law School and was admitted to the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society in 1954.

He became one of the region's best known labour lawyers, and his high-profile image led to an invitation to enter politics.

Political career

He was first elected to the House of Commons in the 1963 federal election.[6] He resigned his seat in 1965 when he was named leader of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party. Regan entered the Nova Scotia House of Assembly in 1967, and aggressively pursued the government of Premier George Isaac Smith as Leader of the opposition. Regan led a fourteen-hour filibuster against the government's plans to increase the sales tax in 1969.

Regan's Liberals won a minority government in 1970, and were re-elected with a majority in 1974.

As premier, Regan supported industrialization and the development of offshore gas and oil. His first government amended the province's labour code to prevent courts from issuing injunctions to prevent picketing in labour disputes, and the office of the provincial ombudsman was established. In its second term, the Regan government nationalized the Nova Scotia Light and Power electrical utility, and consolidated electricity supply under the Nova Scotia Power Corporation. A massive plan for the development of tidal power in the Bay of Fundy was also announced.

His government was defeated by John Buchanan's Progressive Conservative Party in the 1978 general election, in part due to the oil shock's effect on the economy.

Regan returned to the federal House of Commons in the 1980 federal election, and was appointed Minister of Labour and Minister of State for International Trade in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Regan was defeated along with the Liberal government in the 1984 election.

Criminal charges and controversy

On October 27, 1993, CBC News revealed that the RCMP were investigating Regan for sexual misconduct.[7] In March 1995 and May 1995 he was charged with a total of nineteen counts of sexual offences.[8][9] As of April 2, 1998, there were eighteen charges, but nine were stayed by Justice J. Michael MacDonald of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.[10] Regan ultimately faced trial on eight charges including rape, attempted rape and forcible confinement, for crimes allegedly committed in 1956 and 1969 against victims aged 14 and 18 at the time.[11][12] On December 18, 1998, he was acquitted on all eight charges by a jury.[13]

On September 10, 1999, by a margin of 21, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal reinstated the nine stayed charges; two were later dropped, but the others were to be tried together with the other remaining charge.[14][15][16] The ruling reinstating the charges was upheld in a 54 decision by the Supreme Court of Canada in February 2002.[17] But in April 2002, the crown attorney's office announced that it would not continue prosecution on the remaining charges of sexual assault due to the age of the allegations, the cost and the age of the defendant.[18][7]

Personal life

Regan's wife was Anita Carole Thomas (Harrison), whose father, John Harrison, was a Saskatchewan Liberal Member of Parliament.[1][4] His son Geoff Regan is the current Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada and served as Minister of Fisheries and Oceans in the government of Paul Martin from 2000 until 2006, and who currently serves as MP for Halifax West and as Speaker of the House of Commons since 2015. Two of his daughters are also well-known: Nancy Regan was a local television personality with ATV, and Laura Regan is an actress.

Regan died on November 26, 2019 at the age of 91.[19]


  1. "Ottawa Citizen - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  2. Batten, D.; O'Handley, K. Canadian Parliamentary Guide: Parlementaire Canadien. Gale. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  4. Kimber, S. (1999). Not Guilty: The Surprising Trial of Gerald Regan. Stoddart. ISBN 9780773731929. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  5. Canada. Parliament; Normandin, P.G. (1990). Guide Parlementaire Canadien. P. G. Normandin. ISSN 0315-6168. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  6. Gerald Regan – Parliament of Canada biography, Accessed February 8, 2018.
  7. Kimber, Stephen (April 25, 2002). "Gerald Regan Case Update". The Coast. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
  8. Kevin Cox (March 16, 1995). "Regan seeks inquiry over charges". Globe and Mail. p. A1.
  9. Kevin Cox (May 31, 1995). "More sex charges filed against Regan". Globe and Mail. p. A3.
  10. Kevin Cox (April 3, 1998). "Regan to stand trial on nine sex charges". Globe and Mail. p. A1.
  11. Kevin Cox (November 4, 1998). "Jury selection in Regan trial set to start". Globe and Mail. p. A8.
  12. Kevin Cox (November 24, 1998). "Regan accuser insists attack real". Globe and Mail. p. A3.
  13. John DeMont (December 28, 1998). "Regan acquitted". Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  14. Crown Retains New Counsel for Appeal Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service
  15. Appeal court reserves decision in Regan case CBC News
  16. Kevin Cox (December 3, 1999). "Regan denies second set of sex charges". Globe and Mail. p. A7.
  17. Sex assault charges reinstated against Gerald Regan CBC News
  18. Regan Prosecution Will Not Proceed Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service
23rd Ministry – Cabinet of John Turner
Cabinet post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Jean Chrétien Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources
Patricia Carney
22nd Ministry – Second cabinet of Pierre Trudeau
Cabinet posts (6)
Predecessor Office Successor
position created Minister for International Trade
Francis Fox
  Minister of State (International Trade)
Francis Fox Secretary of State for Canada
Serge Joyal
  Minister of Amateur Sport
Lincoln Alexander Minister of Labour
Charles Caccia
  Minister of State (Sports)
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