James Jerome

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James Jerome
MP for Sudbury
In office
September 9, 1968 – December 14, 1979
Preceded by Bud Germa
Succeeded by Doug Frith
Personal details
Born James Alexander Jerome
March 4, 1933
Kingston, Ontario
Died August 21, 2005
Political party Liberal
Residence Sudbury, Ontario
Occupation lawyer

James Alexander Jerome PC (March 4, 1933 – August 21, 2005) was a Canadian jurist and former politician and Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons.

Life and career[edit]

After receiving his law degree from Osgoode Hall in Toronto, Jerome began his law practice in Sudbury, Ontario. In 1966, he won a seat on Sudbury's city council and, the next year, attempted to win election to the Canadian House of Commons in a by-election but was defeated. He took the seat in the 1968 general election, however, and became the Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for the Sudbury riding.

After the 1972 election, Jerome became Chairman of the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs. Since there was a minority government in place, the opposition had a majority of members on the Committee and Jerome had to remain impartial and balance the wishes of all parties in order to win approval for legislation.

His success in this role led Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to appoint Jerome as Speaker of the House of Commons following the 1974 election.

In the 1979 election, Jerome considered following the precedent set by his predecessor, Lucien Lamoureux by running as an independent as is the custom of the Speaker of the British House of Commons. He decided to run as a Liberal, however, and was re-elected. The Progressive Conservative Party formed a minority government. Despite the change in government, they decided to keep Jerome as Speaker, the first time a member of an opposition party was chosen to preside over the Canadian House of Commons.

After the Clark government was defeated in a Motion of No Confidence in December 1979, Jerome decided not to run in the ensuing general election. In January 1980, Clark appointed him Associate Chief Justice of the Federal Court in Ottawa. Jerome remained in this position until his retirement in 1998.

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