Edward Roberts (Canadian politician)
CM ONL QC
|11th Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador|
November 1, 2002 – February 4, 2008
|Governor General||Adrienne Clarkson
|Preceded by||Arthur Maxwell House|
|Succeeded by||John Crosbie|
|Member of the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly for White Bay North|
September 8, 1966 – April 2, 1985
|Preceded by||Walter C. Carter|
|Succeeded by||Chris Decker|
|Member of the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly for Lake Melville|
June 25, 1992 – February 22, 1996
|Preceded by||Jim Kelland|
|Succeeded by||Ernie McLean|
September 1, 1940 |
St. John's, Newfoundland
The son of Harry and Katharine Roberts, he was educated at Holloway School and Prince of Wales College in St. John's, and at St. Andrew's College. He received, in 1960, a Bachelor of Arts and, in 1964, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Toronto. He was called the Bar of Newfoundland in 1965, became Queen's Counsel in 1979 and a Master of the Supreme Court in 1989.
After serving as executive assistant to Premier Joey Smallwood, Roberts entered politics and was first elected to the Newfoundland legislative assembly in 1966 in the District of White Bay North at the age of 26. He was re-elected in that district, and in the Strait of Belle Isle District, in the next five general elections. He sat as a Liberal and served as Minister of Public Welfare and then Minister of Health in Smallwood's cabinet.
In 1972, he became leader of the Liberal Party and leader of the opposition when Smallwood retired following the defeat of his government. Roberts retained the leadership of the party in 1974 when Smallwood attempted to regain it but lost the position in 1977. Roberts did not seek re-election in 1985.
Roberts returned to politics in 1992 at the behest of Premier Clyde Wells and became Minister of Justice and Attorney-General as well as Government House Leader, winning in the District of Nascopie (Labrador) in a by-election, and was subsequently returned in the general election of 1993. He remained justice minister briefly under Brian Tobin until retiring from politics a second time in 1996. Roberts was the only person to serve as a cabinet minister in the province's first three Liberal governments, those of Smallwood, Wells, and Tobin, with a political career spanning thirty years.
Roberts has also had business interests, notably in the pharmaceutical distribution industry in Newfoundland. He was Chairman of the Board of Regents of Memorial University of Newfoundland from 1997 until his appointment as lieutenant governor in 2002. The university conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws on him in May 2003.
In 2002, Roberts was appointed lieutenant governor of Newfoundland and Labrador by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, on the advice of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. In that capacity, he has overseen the inaugural installation of members of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador through his appointment as Chancellor of the order. He became Honorary Chief of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary in February 2003, and Honorary Colonel of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in September that year.
Roberts chairs the Rhodes Scholarship committee for the province. In 2009, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada "for his contributions as a former cabinet minister and lieutenant governor of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador".
He is married to lawyer Eve Roberts. He has two daughters, Catherine, a lawyer, and Caroline (herself a Rhodes Scholar) from a previous marriage. Eve has two daughters from her first marriage, Jessica and Alison.
- "Governor General announces 60 new appointments to the Order of Canada". July 1, 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-07-05.
- Canadian Heraldic Authority (Volume IV), Ottawa, 1998