James Garfield Gardiner

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The Right Hon.
James Garfield Gardiner
James Garfield Gardiner.jpg
4th Premier of Saskatchewan
In office
February 26, 1926 – September 9, 1929
Monarch George V
Lieutenant Governor Henry William Newlands
Preceded by Charles A. Dunning
Succeeded by James T.M. Anderson
In office
July 19, 1934 – November 1, 1935
Monarch George V
Lieutenant Governor Hugh Edwin Munroe
Preceded by James T.M. Anderson
Succeeded by William John Patterson
Personal details
Born (1883-11-30)November 30, 1883
Farhuquar (South Huron), Ontario
Died January 12, 1962(1962-01-12) (aged 78)
Balcarres, Saskatchewan
Political party Saskatchewan Liberal Party
Other political
Liberal Party of Canada
Spouse(s) Rosetta Jane Gardiner (m. 1912–1917),
Violet McEwen (m. 1917–1944),
Isabella (Scott) Christie (m. 1944–1962)
Profession Educator
Religion United Church of Canada

James Garfield "Jimmy" Gardiner, PC (30 November 1883 in Farhuquar, Ontario – 12 January 1962 in Balcarres, Saskatchewan) was a Canadian farmer, educator, and politician. He served as the fourth Premier of Saskatchewan, and as a minister in the Canadian Cabinet.

Life and career[edit]

Gardiner was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan in 1914, and served as Minister of Highways (1922–26) in the government of Premier Charles A. Dunning from 1922 until succeeding Dunning as Premier in 1926. A highly partisan Liberal, his government lost its majority in the legislature in the 1929 election due to patronage scandals. Although the Conservative Party had won fewer seats, it was able to defeat the Gardiner government through a motion of non-confidence, then form a "co-operative government" with the support of some Progressive Party and independent Members of the Legislative Assembly.

As Leader of the Opposition, Gardiner accused James Anderson's Conservative government of bigotry, alleging that it was linked with the Ku Klux Klan. Gardiner defeated Anderson in the 1934 election, and became Premier a second time. In 1935 he was involved in negotiations to end the On-to-Ottawa Trek in Regina.

Gardiner left provincial politics later in 1935 to join the federal cabinet of Liberal Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King as Minister of Agriculture. He was elected to the House of Commons a few months later. Gardiner held the agriculture portfolio for twenty-two years until the 1957 federal election when the Liberal government was defeated. He was a powerful figure in both the King and St. Laurent governments.

In 1947, he was sworn into the Imperial Privy Council, allowing him use of the prenominal honorific The Right Honourable.

Gardiner ran for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada at the 1948 Liberal leadership convention, but lost to Louis St. Laurent. He remained in the Canadian House of Commons until he lost his seat in the 1958 Diefenbaker sweep.

Gardiner was married three times: first to Rosetta Jane Gardiner in 1912, then to Violet McEwen in 1917 and finally to Isabella (Scott) Christie in 1944. His son James Wilfrid served in the Saskatchewan assembly.[1]

Incidentally it was Gardiner, who as Premier of Saskatchewan in 1928, championed the Saskatchewan Sanitoria and Hospitals Act – the first legislation to provide free hospitalization and treatment for victims of tuberculosis anywhere in North America. The Act was passed unanimously by the provincial legislature on January 1, 1929. This Act was probably one of his least known legacies to Saskatchewan public policy.[2]

Saskatchewan's Gardiner Dam is named after him.

In 2006, the CBC agreed to pull the movie Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story from all broadcasts in response to criticism about its portrayals of Gardiner. [1] This controversy is ongoing, and the show may be altered to exclude Gardiner or come with a disclaimer.


  1. ^ "James G. Gardiner fonds". Saskatchewan Archival Information Network. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  2. ^ "RG Ferguson". Crusader against Tuberculosis, C. Stuart Houston, Hannah Institute & Dundurn Press, Page 82 , Toronto 1991. 
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
Robert McKenzie
Member of Parliament for Assiniboia
Succeeded by
Jesse Pickard Tripp
Preceded by
William Richard Motherwell
Member of Parliament for Melville
Succeeded by
James Norris Ormiston
Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan
Preceded by
John Archibald McDonald
Member of the Legislative Assembly for North Qu'Appelle
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Member of the Legislative Assembly for Melville
Succeeded by
Ernest Walter Gerrand
Party political offices
Preceded by
Charles A. Dunning
Leader of the Liberal Party of Saskatchewan
Succeeded by
William John Patterson