Bill Gillis

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The Honourable
Bill Gillis
MLA for Antigonish
In office
1970–1998
Preceded by William F. MacKinnon
Succeeded by Hyland Fraser
Minister of Finance
In office
June 27, 1996 – April 8, 1998
Preceded by Bernie Boudreau
Succeeded by Don Downe
Personal details
Born (1936-10-31)October 31, 1936
Boston, Massachusetts
Died August 15, 2009(2009-08-15) (aged 72)
Antigonish, Nova Scotia
Political party Liberal
Occupation Geologist

John William Gillis (October 31, 1936 – August 15, 2009), generally known as Bill Gillis, was a Canadian politician who served in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly from 1970 to 1998. He represented the electoral district of Antigonish for the Liberals.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts,[1] his family moved to Antigonish when he was six weeks old.[2][3] Gillis was a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University, and held a doctorate in geology from Pennsylvania State University.[4] Gillis was employed as a geologist with the Canadian Department of Energy, Mines and Resources from 1962 to 1967. He taught geology at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia from 1967 to 1970.[5] Gillis died on August 15, 2009, as a result of brain cancer.[2][6]

Political career[edit]

Gillis first attempted to enter provincial politics in the 1967 election, but lost to Progressive Conservative William F. MacKinnon by 26 votes.[7][8] He ran again in the 1970 election and defeated Progressive Conservative William Shaw by 408 votes to win the Antigonish riding.[9] On October 28, 1970, he was appointed by Premier Gerald Regan to the Executive Council of Nova Scotia as Minister of Agriculture and Marketing, and Minister of Municipal Affairs.[10] He was named Minister of Welfare in September 1972,[11] and was shuffled to Minister of Education in August 1973.[12] Gillis was re-elected in the 1974 election,[13] and remained as Minister of Education until February 1976 when he became Minister of Mines.[4]

Gillis was re-elected in the 1978 election,[14] but the Liberals were defeated[15] and he moved to the opposition benches for the next 15 years. During his years in opposition, Gillis was re-elected in the 1981,[16] 1984,[17] and 1988 elections.[18]

In the 1993 election, the Liberals led by John Savage won a majority government,[19] and Gillis was re-elected in his riding by over 4,000 votes.[20] On June 11, 1993, Savage appointed Gillis to cabinet as Deputy Premier and Minister of Justice,[21][22] becoming the first non-lawyer in the province's history to hold the justice job.[23] Gillis remained as Minister of Justice until June 26, 1996, when he became Minister of Finance, while being retained as Deputy Premier,[24] the two jobs he continued to hold after Russell MacLellan took over as premier in July 1997.[25] Gillis did not reoffer in the 1998 election.[26][27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b "Longtime Liberal member of the Nova Scotia legislature dies of brain cancer". The Truro Daily News. August 17, 2009. Retrieved 2014-11-21. 
  3. ^ Simpson, Jeffery (August 17, 2009). "Longtime Liberal MLA Dies". The Chronicle Herald. Archived from the original on September 20, 2009. Retrieved 2015-07-25. 
  4. ^ a b Elliott, Shirley B. (1984). The Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia, 1758–1983 : a biographical directory (PDF). Public Archives of Nova Scotia. p. 83. ISBN 0-88871-050-X. Retrieved 2014-11-21. 
  5. ^ "Longtime MLA Gillis dies". CBC News. August 17, 2009. Retrieved 2014-11-21. 
  6. ^ Cameron, David (August 19, 2009). "Bill Gillis: a man of, and for, the people". The Chronicle Herald. Retrieved 2014-11-21. 
  7. ^ "Returns of General Election for the House of Assembly 1967" (PDF). Elections Nova Scotia. 1967. p. 5. Retrieved 2014-11-21. 
  8. ^ "Gentleman politician remembered". The Casket. August 18, 2009. Retrieved 2014-11-21. 
  9. ^ "Returns of General Election for the House of Assembly 1970" (PDF). Elections Nova Scotia. 1970. p. 5. Retrieved 2014-11-21. 
  10. ^ "Regan takes office, divides Cabinet jobs among nine Liberals". The Globe and Mail. October 29, 1970. 
  11. ^ "Regan shakes up N.S. Cabinet; youth department to be formed". The Globe and Mail. September 8, 1972. 
  12. ^ "Regan again shuffles Nova Scotia Cabinet". The Globe and Mail. August 21, 1973. 
  13. ^ "Returns of General Election for the House of Assembly 1974" (PDF). Elections Nova Scotia. 1974. p. 26. Retrieved 2014-11-21. 
  14. ^ "Returns of General Election for the House of Assembly 1978" (PDF). Elections Nova Scotia. 1978. p. 26. Retrieved 2014-11-21. 
  15. ^ "Conservatives sweep Liberals in Nova Scotia". The Globe and Mail. September 20, 1978. 
  16. ^ "Returns of General Election for the House of Assembly 1981" (PDF). Elections Nova Scotia. 1981. p. 27. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-03-10. Retrieved 2014-11-21. 
  17. ^ "Returns of General Election for the House of Assembly 1984" (PDF). Elections Nova Scotia. 1984. p. 29. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-05. Retrieved 2014-11-21. 
  18. ^ "Returns of General Election for the House of Assembly 1988" (PDF). Elections Nova Scotia. 1988. p. 29. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-05-12. Retrieved 2014-11-21. 
  19. ^ "Liberal landslide". The Chronicle Herald. May 26, 1993. Archived from the original on August 30, 2000. Retrieved 2014-11-21. 
  20. ^ "Returns of General Election for the House of Assembly 1993" (PDF). Elections Nova Scotia. 1993. p. 34. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-11-21. 
  21. ^ "Historic Liberal cabinet sworn in". The Chronicle Herald. June 12, 1993. Archived from the original on August 30, 2000. Retrieved 2014-11-21. 
  22. ^ "New cabinet in Nova Scotia smaller by one". The Globe and Mail. June 12, 1993. 
  23. ^ "Gillis sets legal precedent". The Chronicle Herald. June 12, 1993. Archived from the original on August 30, 2000. Retrieved 2014-11-21. 
  24. ^ "Premier shuffles cabinet". Government of Nova Scotia. June 27, 1996. Retrieved 2014-11-21. 
  25. ^ "MacLellan makeover". The Chronicle Herald. July 19, 1997. Archived from the original on February 4, 1998. Retrieved 2014-11-21. 
  26. ^ "Liberals pick Fraser as Antigonish candidate". The Chronicle Herald. March 26, 1998. Archived from the original on January 23, 2005. Retrieved 2014-11-21. 
  27. ^ Rodenhiser, David (March 28, 1998). "MacLellan faces cabinet selection from depleted Liberal stocks". Canadian Press NewsWire. Toronto.