Arthur Wishart

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Arthur Wishart
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded by Clayton Lyons
Succeeded by John Rhodes
Constituency Sault Ste. Marie
Personal details
Born 1903
New Brunswick
Died 1986 (aged 82–83)
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Political party Progressive Conservative
Occupation Lawyer

Arthur Allison Wishart,  CM (1903–1986) was a politician and in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1963 to 1971. He was a Progressive Conservative member who served in the cabinet of Bill Davis.


Born in New Brunswick, Wishart obtained his law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1930, and then practised in Windsor and Blind River.


He served as mayor of Blind River before moving to Sault Ste. Marie.

In the 1963 provincial election, he was elected the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Sault Ste. Marie.[1]

He entered the cabinet within a year as Attorney General of Ontario under then Premier John Robarts. He served in that senior cabinet portfolio for seven years, and is credited with shepherding many important pieces of legislation, including the Legal Aid Act of 1966 and the Law Enforcement Compensation Act of 1967.

In 1967, Wishart fired Morton Shulman from his position as Chief Coroner of Metropolitan Toronto as a result of Shulman's criticisms of the government's failure to follow various recommendations made in coroner's inquiries. The dismissal propelled Shulman, until then a long-time Tory, into politics as a candidate and then MPP for the New Democratic Party.

In early 1971, Wishart became Minister of Financial and Consumer Affairs under Robarts's successor, Bill Davis,[2] and served until retiring from politics at the 1971 provincial election.

Wishart was very active on the issue of franchises while he was Minister of Finance and Minister of Consumer and Commercial Affairs. He initiated the Grange Commission, an inquiry held into the financial abuse of franchisees by franchisors. The Arthur Wishart (Franchise Disclosure) Act, passed in 2000 was named in his honour.

Cabinet positions[edit]

Provincial Government of Bill Davis
Cabinet Post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Bert Lawrence Minister of Financial and Commercial Affairs
1971 (March–December)
Gordon Carton
Provincial Government of John Robarts
Cabinet Post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Frederick Cass Attorney General
Also Minister of Justice 1966–1971
Allan Lawrence

Later life[edit]

After leaving politics, he served the province as chairman of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and later of the Commission on Election Contributions and Expenses. He returned to Queen's Park in 1973 as a liaison between Premier Davis and the Progressive Conservative caucus.

Wishart was a supporter of Sault Ste. Marie's local university, Algoma University, and in 1989 a new wing was built at Algoma to house the Arthur A. Wishart Library.

In 1976, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.


  1. ^ Canadian Press (September 26, 1963). "78 in Tory Blue Wave -- 23 Is All Grits Saved". The Windsor Star (Windsor, Ontario). p. 25. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  2. ^ Manthorpe, Jonathan; Slinger, John (March 2, 1971). "Changes in policies promised: Davis priorities to include environment and jobless". The Globe and Mail. p. 1. 

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