James Edwin Robertson

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The Hon.
James Edwin Robertson
James Edwin Robertson.png
Senator for Prince Edward Island
In office
1902–1915
Appointed by Wilfrid Laurier
Personal details
Born (1840-10-08)October 8, 1840
New Perth, Prince Edward Island
Died October 30, 1915(1915-10-30) (aged 75)
Political party Liberal

James Edwin Robertson (October 8, 1840 – October 30, 1915) was a Canadian physician and politician.

Born in New Perth, Prince Edward Island, the son of Peter Robertson and Annie McFarlane, Robertson was educated at McGill University where he graduated with honors in 1865, after which he located in Montague, Prince Edward Island where he has worked up a large practice.

In 1870, he was acclaimed to the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island for 4th Kings. He was re-elected in 1876 but was defeated in 1879. He was re-elected in 1882. He was a Minister Without Portfolio in the cabinet of Robert Poore Haythorne and Louis Henry Davies.

He was elected to the Canadian House of Commons for King's County in the 1882 election.

Unseating[edit]

In 1883, he was declared not duly elected on the grounds that he was a member of the Prince Edward Island Legislative Assembly at the time of the election, in defiance of the law banning dual mandates. Shortly after winning his federal seat, he had submitted his resignation notice from the provincial legislature to two fellow MLAs, Malcolm McFadyen and Peter McLaren, in accordance with the process for resigning from the legislature, and the legislature had already held a by-election to replace him.[1] However, a procedural error by McFadyen and McLaren had left the resignation not properly registered,[1] thus leaving his provincial office technically double-seated and his eligibility for federal office in doubt. While several Canadian provinces did at the time allow people to simultaneously hold seats in both the provincial and federal legislatures, Prince Edward Island had enacted a law explicitly disallowing this.

The federal committee adjudicating the matter was dominated by the governing Conservative Party, whereas Robertson was a Liberal. The committee ruled that his resignation from the provincial legislature was not valid, and voted to unseat Robertson;[1] rather than holding a by-election, the committee directly awarded the seat to Augustine Macdonald, the Conservative candidate whom Robertson had defeated in the federal election.[1]

He was re-elected in 1887, but was defeated in 1891.

Senate appointment[edit]

In 1902, he was summoned to the Canadian Senate on the advice of Wilfrid Laurier, representing the senatorial division of Prince Edward Island. He served until April 1915.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Journals of the House of Commons of the Dominion of Canada, Volume 17. MacLean, Roger & Co., 1883.

External links[edit]

Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
Augustine Macdonald
Ephraim Bell Muttart
Member of Parliament for King's County
with Peter Adolphus McIntyre

1882–1883
Succeeded by
Peter A. McIntyre
Augustine Macdonald
Preceded by
Peter A. McIntyre
Augustine Macdonald
Member of Parliament for King's County
with Peter Adolphus McIntyre

1887–1891
Succeeded by
John McLean
Augustine Macdonald

This article incorporates text from the The Canadian album: men of Canada, Vol. 3, a publication now in the public domain.