Walter Russell Shaw

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Walter Russell Shaw
22nd Premier of Prince Edward Island
In office
September 16, 1959 – July 28, 1966
MonarchElizabeth II
Lieutenant GovernorFrederick W. Hyndman
Willibald J. MacDonald
Preceded byAlexander W. Matheson
Succeeded byAlexander B. Campbell
Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Prince Edward Island
In office
September 17, 1957 – September 21, 1968
Preceded byReginald Bell
Succeeded byGeorge Key
MLA (Councillor) for 1st Queens
In office
September 1, 1959 – May 11, 1970
Preceded byFrederic Large
Succeeded byRalph Johnstone
Deputy Minister of Agriculture
In office
Personal details
Born(1887-12-20)December 20, 1887
West River, Prince Edward Island
DiedMay 29, 1981(1981-05-29) (aged 93)
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Political partyProgressive Conservative
Margaret MacKenzie
(m. 1921)
Alma mater
OccupationLivestock held worker, livestock supervisor, farmer, and civil servant
CabinetDeputy Minister of Agriculture (1934–1954)

Walter Russell Shaw, OC (December 20, 1887 – May 29, 1981) was a politician from Prince Edward Island.

A native of West River, Shaw was educated at Prince of Wales College, the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and the University of Toronto. On his return to Prince Edward Island, he farmed for several years, becoming a noted livestock breeder. Shaw worked as a civil servant in the provincial department of agriculture from 1934 to 1954, rising to the position of deputy minister. He also helped found the PEI Federation of Agriculture serving as its first general secretary. He entered politics in 1957 when he was chosen leader of the Progressive Conservative Party. He led the party to victory in the 1959 election becoming the 22nd premier at the age of 71.

The Shaw government supported the expansion of the province's food processing industry, instituted a regional system of high schools and revamped the employment system and pay scale for the civil service. Despite its support for the farming industry, Shaw's government failed to reverse the decline in the number of family farms and was unable to successfully diversify the economy. His government was defeated by the Liberal Party in 1966.

Shaw stepped down as party leader in 1968, and was succeeded by George Key, although as Key was not a sitting member of the legislature Shaw continued to serve as leader of the opposition until 1970, when he retired at the age of 82.

In 1971, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.[1] Shaw was inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1980.[2]


  • "Walter Russell Shaw". Premiers Gallery. Government of Prince Edward Island. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
  1. ^ Order of Canada citation
  2. ^ "Dr. Walter Russell Shaw (1887–1981)". Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2014-09-17.