Peter Veniot

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Peter John Veniot
Peter Veniot as Postmaster General.jpg
Peter J. Veniot as Postmaster General
18th Premier of New Brunswick
In office
February 28, 1923 – September 14, 1925
Monarch George V
Lieutenant Governor William Pugsley
William Frederick Todd
Preceded by Walter E. Foster
Succeeded by John B. M. Baxter
Personal details
Born (1863-10-04)October 4, 1863
Richibucto, New Brunswick, Canada Canada
Died July 6, 1936(1936-07-06) (aged 72)
Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada Canada
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Catherine Melanson (m. 1885)
Religion Roman Catholic

Peter John Veniot, PC (October 4, 1863 – July 6, 1936) was a businessman and newspaper owner and a politician in New Brunswick, Canada. He was the first Acadian premier of the province of New Brunswick.

He was born in Richibucto, New Brunswick but later moved to Pictou, Nova Scotia with his family. Veniot worked as a journalist and typographer for the Pictou Standard and then the Moncton Transcript. He then moved to Bathurst, where he became editor and later owner of the Courier des Provinces Maritimes.

Veniot was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick in 1894, but left politics in 1900 for a customs job. In 1912, he was hired to reorganize the Liberal Party of New Brunswick, and became a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) again in 1917.

He served in the cabinet of Premier Walter Foster as Minister of Public Works. As Minister, Veniot was responsible for the creation of the New Brunswick Electric Power Commission and the modernization of the province's highway system.

Veniot became Premier in 1923 following Foster's resignation. He was a supporter of the Maritime Rights Movement, which advocated more power for the Maritime provinces in Canadian confederation. His government was defeated in the 1925 provincial election.

Veniot resigned as provincial Liberal leader in 1926 in order to enter federal politics in the 1926 federal election. He served as Postmaster General in the cabinet of William Lyon Mackenzie King. In cabinet, Veniot advocated implementation of the Duncan Commission recommendations on alleviating Maritime alienation. Recommendations of freight-rate reductions and subsidy increases were implemented, but suggestions for subsidies based on fiscal need and transportation use to encourage regional development were ignored.

Veniot remained a Member of Parliament until his death at his home in Bathurst in 1936.

Married in 1885 to Catherine Melanson,[1] their son Clarence Joseph was elected in the by-election held in the federal riding of Gloucester after his death and later served in the Canadian Senate.

Further reading[edit]

  • Arthur T. Doyle, Front Benches and Back Rooms: A story of corruption, muckraking, raw partisanship and political intrigue in New Brunswick, Toronto: Green Tree Publishing, 1976.


  1. ^ L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
Jean George Robichaud
Member of Parliament for Gloucester
Succeeded by
Clarence Joseph Veniot