George Henry Murray
|George Henry Murray|
|8th Premier of Nova Scotia|
|Preceded by||William Stevens Fielding|
|Succeeded by||Ernest Howard Armstrong|
June 7, 1861|
Grand Narrows, Nova Scotia
|Died||January 6, 1929
|Children||George Belcher Murray|
George Henry Murray (June 7, 1861 – January 6, 1929) was a Nova Scotia politician who served as the province's eighth Premier for twenty-seven years, the longest unbroken tenure for a head of government in Canadian history. He was born in Grand Narrows, Nova Scotia.
Despite his later political longevity, Murray's early political career was marked by inability to get elected. He lost five consecutive elections at the federal and provincial level before finally winning a seat. Despite his electoral failures he was highly regarded within the Liberal Party and was nominated by Premier William Stevens Fielding to succeed him when Fielding left provincial politics in 1896 to join the federal cabinet of Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Murray was sworn in as premier and took a seat in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly when he was acclaimed as a candidate in Victoria County.
As premier, Murray was a practitioner of brokerage politics. His government continued the public works projects of his predecessor, particularly in the area of railways (doubling the province's track mileage within a decade), as well as road and bridge construction. Murray's government was instrumental in improving the province's post-secondary education system, particularly in the area of agricultural and vocational education through the founding of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College at Bible Hill as well as the Nova Scotia Technical College in Halifax.
The Murray government also introduced progressive labour legislation such as the Factories Act in 1908 and workman's compensation for injuries on the job in 1915. In the area of public health the Murray government appointed public health officers, establishing county health clinics and founded a research hospital for tuberculosis patients.
After almost three decades in power Murray retired from politics in January 1923. He twice declined the offer of knighthood and twice refused earlier offers to join the federal cabinet of Sir Wilfrid Laurier. He died in Montreal.
His son George Belcher Murray later served in the provincial assembly.