Malcolm Cameron (Canadian politician)

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Malcolm Cameron
Source: Library and Archives Canada

Malcolm Cameron (April 25, 1808 – June 1, 1876) was a Canadian businessman and politician.

Early life[edit]

He was born at Trois-Rivières in Lower Canada in 1808 and grew up in Lanark County in Upper Canada. At the age of 15, he found work in the Montreal area, but later returned to Perth, Ontario to complete his schooling. In 1828, he became a merchant in the area.

Political career[edit]

In 1836, he was elected to the 13th Parliament of Upper Canada representing Lanark as a moderate Reformer. The year before, he had set up a general store at Port Sarnia (later Sarnia) and, in 1837, he moved there. In the same year, he served with Allan Napier MacNab during the Upper Canada Rebellion. He also set up mills in the Port Sarnia area, became involved in transporting goods and established a business cutting and selling timber. Although he originally opposed Robert Baldwin, he supported his government in 1842 and was given the post of inspector of revenue. He resigned in 1843 because he could not support the government bill that moved the capital to Montreal.

After the union of Upper and Lower Canada, he continued to represent Lanark in the Legislative Assembly until 1847. In that year, he was elected in Kent and, in 1848, was chosen to be assistant commissioner of public works, resigning in 1849. Cameron began to align himself with the Clear Grits. He pressed for the abolition of the clergy reserves and pushed for reciprocity in trade with the United States. In 1851, he was elected as an independent in Huron. He also supported Arthur Rankin in Kent against George Brown in a bitter campaign, although Brown won easily. He was given a post in the government in 1852 and, in 1853, became appointed Postmaster General. This also meant that he served on the Board of Railway Commissioners and he represented the government on the board of the Grand Trunk Railway. In 1854, Cameron ran in both South Lanark and Lambton, but was elected in neither.

He was elected to the 6th Parliament of the Province of Canada as an independent representing Lambton; he defeated the Reform candidate Hope Fleming Mackenzie, the brother of Alexander Mackenzie. In 1860, he was elected to the Legislative Council for St. Clair division and Hope Mackenzie won the Lambton seat in a by-election.

In 1863, he was appointed Queen's Printer with George-Paschal Desbarats, and served until 1869.

In 1874, he was elected to the 3rd Canadian Parliament as a Liberal candidate in the riding of Ontario South. He died at Ottawa while in office in 1876.

Malcolm Colin Cameron, who he is believed to have adopted, became a Member of Parliament for Huron South and Huron West.

Cameron Township in Quebec was named in his honour (since 1980 part of Bouchette, Quebec).[1]


  1. ^ "Bouchette (Municipalité)" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2008-08-28.