Robert Brett

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For other people named Robert Brett, see Robert Brett (disambiguation).
The Honorable
Robert G. Brett
2nd Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
In office
October 20, 1915 – October 29, 1925
Monarch George V
Governor General The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
The Duke of Devonshire
The Viscount Byng of Vimy
Premier Arthur Sifton
Charles Stewart
Herbert Greenfield
Preceded by George H. V. Bulyea
Succeeded by William Egbert
Personal details
Born Robert George Brett
(1851-11-16)November 16, 1851
Strathroy, Canada West
Died September 16, 1929(1929-09-16) (aged 77)
Calgary, Alberta
Nationality Canadian
Profession Physician

Robert George Brett (November 16, 1851 – September 16, 1929) was a politician and physician in the North-West Territories and later Alberta, Canada.

Brett was well educated, attending the University of Toronto and attaining his medical degree. He attended various schools in the United States for his post graduate work. In 1874 he located in the small village of Arkona, Ontario, where he even served a term as village reeve.

He was married in 1873 to Louise T. Hungerford and had four children, all four of whom predeceased their parents (their eldest daughter, Genevieve, died as a four-month-old infant in October 1881 and is buried at Arkona). Although it has been stated that Brett moved to Manitoba in 1880 he and his family were listed in the 1881 census in Arkona.[1] In any case in the early 1880s he helped found the Manitoba Medical College and sat as a board member on the University of Manitoba.

In 1883 he moved to Banff, District of Alberta. He worked as a physician at the Banff Sanitarium, which he founded.

In 1888 he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the North-West Territories. He became a de facto leader of the government as chairman of the Lieutenant-Governor's Advisory Council. Robert Brett had a rivalry with longtime member Frederick Haultain.

In 1898 Robert Brett became the first Leader of the Official Opposition during a time in which the territorial legislature made a transition to party politics. In the 1902 election he unexpectedly dropped out of the race, a move that hurt the North-West Territories Liberal Party.

When Alberta became a province in 1905 he ran in Banff for the Conservative Party but was defeated.

He served as a senior surgeon in Banff at Brett Hospital. In 1909 he became president of the Alberta Conservative Party. During his time in the early 20th century he served on a number of boards in Alberta. He was appointed the second Lieutenant Governor of Alberta in 1915 and served in the post for one decade.

He died in Calgary, Alberta; he was buried in Banff. Mount Brett, west of Banff, was named in his honour.


  1. ^ Stott, Greg (2011). Arkona: A History of an Ontario Community. Arkona, Ontario: Anokra Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-9684071-7-2. 
  • Johnson, Margery. The Arkona Cemetery and Mennonite Cemetery in Warwick Township (Arkona: Arkona and Area Historical Society, 1985).
  • Johnson, William F. Arkona Through the Years (Forest, Ontario: Pole Printing, 1976).
  • Stott, Greg. Arkona: A History of an Ontario Community(Arkona, Ontario: Anokra Press, 2011).

External links[edit]

Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories
Preceded by
New District
MLA Red Deer
Succeeded by
Francis Wilkins
Preceded by
New District
MLA Banff
Succeeded by
Arthur Lewis Sifton