- William Earl Rowe
William Earl Rowe, PC (
May 13, 1894– February 9, 1984), was a politicianin Ontario, Canada. He served as the 20th Lieutenant Governor of Ontariofrom 1963 to 1968. He also had four children, one of which died during labour.
Rowe was born in
Hull, Iowaof Canadian parents in 1894. He later moved to Ontario, and was a farmer and cattle breeder. He was reeve of the township of West Gwillimbury from 1919 to 1923. Rowe served as a Member of Provincial Parliamentfrom 1923 to 1925, and was then elected to the House of Commons, where he served until 1935.
From 1936 to 1938, he was leader of Conservative Party of Ontario though, as he did not have a seat in the legislature
George S. Henryremained Leader of the Opposition.
In the public mind, the cause of labour was identified with the American
Congress of Industrial Organizationsand communism. During the 1937 provincial election when Liberal premier Mitchell Hepburnwas railing against the C.I.O. and the supposed threat posed by organized labour, Rowe refused to take a stand against the C.I.O. and repeatedly asserted that: "the issue was not law and order but the right of free association." At the time the Conservatives were strongly associated with the Orange Order which had long held a pro-labour position.
Rowe failed to win his seat in the 1937 provincial election and successfully ran in a by-election held in November 1937 to regain the seat in the federal House of Commons he had resigned from two months earlier to run in the provincial election.
Rowe served in the House of Commons until 1962. On two occasions (1954-1955 and 1956) when PC party leader George Drew was unable to perform his duties due to ill health, Rowe served as acting leader of the official opposition.
From 1958 to 1962, he and his daughter,
Jean Casselman Wadds, were the only father and daughter to ever sit together in Parliament.
Rowe was lieutenant governor of Ontario from 1963 to 1968. A champion and supporter of agriculture and rural affairs, he died in 1984 at
Newton Robinson, Ontario.
The Honourable Earl Rowe Public School in
Bradford, Ontario, and Earl Rowe Provincial Park, near Alliston are named in his honour.
* [http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/people/key/bio.asp?lang=E&query=2536&s=M Synopsis of federal political experience from the Library of Parliament]
* [http://ontarioplaques.com/Plaque_Simcoe03.html Ontario Plaques - Honourable William Earl Rowe]
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