Peter McLaren (politician)

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The Hon.
Peter McLaren
Senator for Perth, Ontario
In office
February 21, 1890 – May 23, 1919
Appointed by John A. Macdonald
Personal details
Born (1833-09-21)September 21, 1833
Lanark, Upper Canada
Died May 23, 1919(1919-05-23) (aged 85)
Perth, Ontario
Political party Conservative

Peter McLaren (September 21, 1833 – May 23, 1919[1]) was a Canadian politician.

Born in Lanark, Upper Canada,[1] he was the son of James McLaren, an immigrant from Scotland. He married Sophia, the daughter of William Lees.[2] McLaren was involved in the timber trade and operated sawmills in Carleton Place and at McLaren's depot on the Kingston and Pembroke Railway line[3] as well as in Alberta.[4] In 1881, the Ontario government passed the Rivers and Streams Act, mainly due to a dispute between McLaren and a rival lumber company over access to McLaren's timber slides on the Mississippi River. The Act was disallowed by John Alexander Macdonald, leading to a dispute over jurisdiction between the Mowat government in Ontario and the federal government.[5] However, in 1884, the Act was upheld by the British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in McLaren v. Caldwell.[6]

McLaren was appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1890 on the advice of John Alexander Macdonald representing the senatorial division of Perth, Ontario. A Conservative, he served 29 years[1] until his death in Perth in 1919.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Synopsis of federal political experience from the Library of Parliament
  2. ^ The Canadian Parliament; biographical sketches and photo-engravures of the senators and members of the House of Commons of Canada ... 1904. p. 102. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  3. ^ a b Brown, Howard Morton (2007). Lanark Legacy: Nineteenth Century Glimpses of an Ontario County. General Store Publishing House. pp. 230–242. ISBN 1-897113-62-5. 
  4. ^ Crowsnest Pass Historical Society (1979). Crowsnest and its people. Coleman: Crowsnest Pass Historical Society. p. 27. ISBN 0-88925-046-4. 
  5. ^ Romney, Paul (1999). Getting it wrong: how Canadians forgot their past and imperilled Confederation. University of Toronto Press. pp. 112–5. ISBN 0-8020-8105-3. 
  6. ^ "Provincial plaque commemorates Rivers and Streams Act of 1884". Ontario Heritage Trust. Retrieved 2011-07-06.