Douglas Harkness

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The Hon.
Douglas Scott Harkness
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Calgary East
In office
1945–1953
Preceded by George Henry Ross
Succeeded by John Kushner
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Calgary North
In office
1953–1968
Preceded by District was created in 1952.
Succeeded by Eldon Woolliams
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Calgary Centre
In office
1968–1972
Preceded by District was created in 1966.
Succeeded by Harvie Andre
Personal details
Born (1903-03-29)March 29, 1903
Toronto, Ontario
Died May 2, 1999(1999-05-02) (aged 96)
Calgary, Alberta
Political party Progressive Conservative
Cabinet Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (1957)
Minister of Agriculture (1957-1960)
Minister of National Defence (1960-1963)
Military service
Rank Lieutenant-Colonel
Battles/wars World War II
Awards George Medal

Douglas Scott Harkness, PC OC GM ED (March 29, 1903 – May 2, 1999), was a Canadian politician, teacher, farmer and former Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Canadian Artillery.

He was born in Toronto, Ontario and moved to Calgary, Alberta in 1929. He graduated from the University of Alberta, then farmed and taught school in the vicinity of Red Deer. He taught at Crescent Heights High School until 1939.

He fought during the Second World War and in 1943 was awarded the George Medal "in recognition of conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner".[1]

In 1945, he was elected to the House of Commons for the constituency of Calgary East and held various ministerial positions under the government of John Diefenbaker. He was sworn into the Queen's Privy Council for Canada on June 21, 1957 as Minister of Agriculture. In 1960, he was appointed Minister of National Defence. Harkness precipitated a political crisis when he resigned from cabinet in February 1963 in order to protest Diefenbaker's opposition to stationing American nuclear warheads in Canada. The resignation precipitated a split in the cabinet and contributed to the defeat of the government in the 1963 federal election. However, Harkness continued to sit as a Member of Parliament until 1972.

He lived in Calgary until his death in 1999.

In 1978 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. The Douglas Harkness Community School in Calgary is named in his honour.

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