George McCague

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George McCague
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded byNew riding
Succeeded byJim Wilson
ConstituencySimcoe West
In office
Preceded byWally Downer
Succeeded byRiding abolished
Personal details
Born(1929-12-05)December 5, 1929
Essa Township, Ontario
DiedJuly 14, 2014(2014-07-14) (aged 84)
Alliston, Ontario
Political partyProgressive Conservative
Spouse(s)Brigitte McCague

George Raymond McCague (December 5, 1929 – July 14, 2014) was a politician in Ontario, Canada. He was a Progressive Conservative member in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1975 to 1990, and was a cabinet minister in the governments of Bill Davis and Frank Miller.


McCague was born in Essa Township, north of Alliston, Ontario. He was son of J. J. E. McCague, who owned Glenafton Farms which was one of the best known dairy farms of its time. He was educated at Burns Public School, Alliston High School (both schools since closed) and the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph, Ontario. He worked as a sod and potato farmer and executive and owned a real estate company in Alliston.


McCague was a councillor in Alliston from 1960 to 1961, deputy reeve from 1962 to 1964, reeve from 1965 to 1966, a public school board member from 1967 to 1968 and Mayor from 1969 to 1973. He was chair of the Board of Governors for Georgian College from 1967 to 1974 and Simcoe County warden in 1966. He also served as chair of the Niagara Escarpment Commission in the early 1970s.[1]

He was elected to the Ontario legislature in the 1975 provincial election, after defeating long serving Dufferin Simcoe MP Wally Downer for the Progressive Conservative nomination. He defeated Liberal Bob Beattie by 1,691 votes in the riding of Dufferin—Simcoe.[2] He was elected by greater margins in the elections of 1977,[3] 1981,[4] and 1985.[5]

McCague served as parliamentary assistant to the Treasurer just before the 1977 election, and was brought into Bill Davis's cabinet on September 21, 1977 as Minister of Government Services.[6] On January 21, 1978, he was shifted to the Ministry of the Environment.[7] He was named Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet on August 18, 1978.[8] He retained this position until Davis resigned as Premier in 1985. McCague tried to convince Davis to remain in office for another election, but afterwards endorsed Frank Miller to succeed him as party leader.

When Miller replaced Davis as Premier on February 8, 1985, he appointed McCague as Minister of Transportation and Communications.[9] Soon after this, the Tories were reduced to a tenuous minority government in the 1985 election under Miller's leadership. McCague was retained in his portfolio after the election, but did little of significance before the government was defeated in the house. He sat in opposition for the remainder of his time in the legislature.

McCague was narrowly re-elected in the 1987 election, defeating Liberal candidate Gary Johnson by only 306 votes in the redistributed constituency of Simcoe West.[10] He did not seek re-election in 1990. He returned to municipal politics, and served as mayor of Tecumseth from 1992 to 1994.

McCague is considered a mentor to his successor in the legislature, former cabinet minister Jim Wilson. He continued to support the federal Progressive Conservative Party over the Reform Party in the 1990s. After leaving provincial politics, McCague served as the Mayor of the newly amalgamated town of New Tecumseth from 1992 to 1994.[1]

Shortly after Mike Harris returned the Progressive Conservatives to government in 1995, McCague was appointed as a government negotiator in talks with the Ontario Medical Association. He was a founding member, and first Chair, of the Board Governors of Georgian College, in Barrie.

Cabinet positions[edit]

Ontario Provincial Government of Frank Miller
Cabinet post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
James Snow Minister of Transportation and Communications
1985 (Feb–June)
Ed Fulton
Ontario Provincial Government of Bill Davis
Cabinet posts (3)
Predecessor Office Successor
James Auld Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet
Bette Stephenson
George Kerr Minister of Environment
1978 (January–August)
Harry Parrott
John Smith Minister of Government Services
Lorne Henderson


  1. ^ a b Pritchard, Brad (July 15, 2014). "Former MPP George McCague was a community builder". Alliston Herald.
  2. ^ "Table of vote results for all Ontario ridings". The Globe and Mail. September 19, 1975. p. C12.
  3. ^ "Ontario provincial election results riding by riding". The Globe and Mail. June 10, 1977. p. D9.
  4. ^ Canadian Press (1981-03-20). "Winds of change, sea of security". The Windsor Star. Windsor, Ontario. p. 22. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
  5. ^ "Results of vote in Ontario election". The Globe and Mail. May 3, 1985. p. 13.
  6. ^ Johnson, Arthur; Mosher, Peter (September 22, 1977). "Three join Cabinet and speak out on beer, jails, farms". The Globe and Mail. p. 1.
  7. ^ Williamson, Robert (January 23, 1978). "Scrivener's removal from Cabinet, Baetz posting to cause most talk". The Globe and Mail. p. 5.
  8. ^ Oziewicz, Stan; Yaffe, Barbara (August 19, 1978). "McCague, Baetz are demoted in cabinet shuffle". The Globe and Mail. pp. 1, 2.
  9. ^ "The Ontario Cabinet". The Globe and Mail. February 9, 1985. p. 4.
  10. ^ "Results from individual ridings". The Windsor Star. September 11, 1987. p. F2.

External links[edit]