|James Pliny Whitney|
The Hon. Sir James Pliny Whitney
|6th Premier of Ontario|
February 8, 1905 – September 25, 1914
William Mortimer Clark|
John Morison Gibson
John Strathearn Hendrie
|Preceded by||George William Ross|
|Succeeded by||William Howard Hearst|
|Member of the Legislative Assembly|
January 31, 1888 – September 25, 1914
|Preceded by||Theodore F. Chamberlain|
|Succeeded by||Irwin Foster Hilliard|
October 2, 1843|
Williamsburgh Township, Upper Canada
September 25, 1914 (aged 70)|
|Political party||Ontario Conservative Party|
Sir James Pliny Whitney, KCMG (October 2, 1843 – September 25, 1914) was a Canadian politician in the province of Ontario. Whitney was a lawyer in eastern Ontario, Conservative member for Dundas from 1888 to 1914, and the sixth Premier of Ontario from 1905 to 1914.
Whitney was born in Williamsburgh Township in 1843 and attended Cornwall Grammar School before articling the law office of John Sandfield Macdonald in the 1860s, but did not resume his legal studies until 1871. He was called to the bar in 1875, and practiced law in Morrisburg.
Early political career
Whitney was elected to the Ontario legislature in 1888. He became leader of the Conservative Party in 1896 taking it from a narrow, bigoted rump into a forward-looking party determined to build the province.
Premier of Ontario
Whitney's government laid the basis for Ontario's industrial development by creating the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario, with Sir Adam Beck as its chairman and driving force. His government also passed significant temperance and workmen's compensation legislation. He also supported the anti-Catholic, anti-French-Canadian sentiments of supporters of the Orange Order in his caucus (such as George Howard Ferguson) by passing Regulation 17. This regulation banned the teaching of French in schools beyond the first three years of school. The measure inflamed French-Canadian opinion across Canada, particularly in Quebec, and split the country as it entered World War I.
Whitney died in office shortly after winning the 1914 election. A 1920s government building across from Queen's Park is named the Whitney Block after him. A statue of him stands on the Queen's Park grounds. Whitney Hall, a residential building at nearby University College, of the University of Toronto, is also named after him.
- "James Pliny Whitney, MPP". Legislative Assembly of Ontario Past Members. Toronto: Queen's Printer for Ontario. 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-12-11. Retrieved 2011-12-11.
- Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Whitney, James Pliny". Encyclopedia Americana.
- An act to provide for the Transmission of Electrical Power to Municipalities, S.O. 1906, c. 15
- An act to amend The Liquor License Laws, S.O. 1906, c. 47
- The Workmen's Compensation Act, S.O. 1914, c. 25
- Profile of Whitney Hall; University of Toronto. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
- Humphries, Charles W. (1998). "Whitney, Sir James Pliny". In Cook, Ramsay; Hamelin, Jean. Dictionary of Canadian Biography. XIV (1911–1920) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press.
- Ontario Plaques - Sir James Pliny Whitney
- Sir James Whitney fonds, Archives of Ontario
Whitney family of Connecticut