Biography of Schreyer, Edward - Archontology
HomeNationsCanadaGovernors-GeneralSchreyer, Edward
Schreyer, Edward

Edward Richard Schreyer

b. 21 Dec 1935, near Beauséjour, Manitoba

Title: Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada = Gouverneur général et Commandant en chef du Canada
Term: 22 Jan 1979 - 14 May 1984
Chronology: 28 Dec 1978, appointed by Commission under the Great Seal of Canada [1]
  22 Jan 1979, oath of allegiance, oath of office and oath of Keeper of the Great Seal of Canada taken, Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, Ontario [2][3]
  14 May 1984, appointment superseded by the Commission of a successor effective on taking the prescribed oaths
Educated at United College, St. John's College and the University of Manitoba, Edward Schreyer became the youngest member of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly at age 22. He represented represented the riding of Brokenhead in the provincial legislature (1958-1965) and then was elected to the federal House of Commons (MP, 1965-1969). Returning to Manitoba politics, he was chosen (8 Jun 1969) Leader of the New Democratic Party of Manitoba and within months became Premier (1969-1977). An advocate of bilingualism and a strong central government, he fostered good relationship with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, who nominated him for the position of governor general in 1978. Schreyer was the youngest Governor General to be appointed since Lord Lorne in 1878. A stiff, earnest public manner conflicted with his desire to be open and friendly, and made him an easy media target. Schreyer caused political controversy by hesitating before allowing Prime Minister Joe Clark to call an election in 1979, and by suggesting that he might have dissolved Parliament if Trudeau had attempted to impose his constitutional proposals unilaterally in 1981-1982. Through it all, Schreyer indulged an intense curiosity about a wide range of subjects, from topography to native peoples. After his term as governor general completed, he was appointed Canadian High Commissioner to Australia (1984). In February 1988 he returned to Canada as a private citizen.
Biographical sources: Canadian Encyclopedia.

[1] Canada Senate Journals, 4th session, 30th Parliament, vol. 124, p. v.
[2] Canada Gazette, Part I, No. 4, 27 Jan 1979, p. 468.
[3] Globe and Mail, No. 40,289, Metro Edition, 23 Jan 1979, pp. 1-2.