- James Whitney
name = James Pliny Whitney
caption = The Hon. Sir James Pliny Whitney
birth_date = birth date|1843|10|2|mf=y
birth_place = Williamsburgh Township,
death_date = death date and age |1914|09|25|1843|10|02
order = 6th
Premier of Ontario
February 8, 1905
September 25, 1914
George William Ross
successor = William Hearst
Ontario PC Party
spouse = Alice Park
Sir James Pliny Whitney, K.C.M.G. (
October 2, 1843– September 25, 1914) was a politician in the Canadian province of Ontario. Whitney was a lawyer in eastern Ontario, Conservative member for Dundas from 1888 to 1914, and Premier of Ontariofrom 1905 to 1914.
Whitney became leader of the party in 1896 taking it from a narrow, bigoted rump into a forward-looking party determined to build the province. His government nonetheless passed the most bigoted and backwards language legislation in Ontario history. In the 1905 election, he led the
Toriesto victory for the first time in 33 years by defeating the Liberal government of George William Ross.
Whitney's government laid the basis for Ontario's industrial development by creating the
Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario, with Sir Adam Beckas its chairman and driving force. His government also passed the Workmen's Compensation Actand enacted temperance legislation. He also appeased the anti- Catholic, anti- French-Canadiansentiments of supporters of the Orange Order in his caucus (such as George Howard Ferguson) by passing Regulation 17. This regulation banned the teaching of French in schools beyond the first three years of school. The measure inflamed French-Canadianopinion across Canada, particularly in Quebec, and split the country as it entered World War I.
Whitney died in office shortly after winning the 1914 election.
* [http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=7769 Biography at the "Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online"]
* [http://ontarioplaques.com/Plaque_Stormont14.html Ontario Plaques - Sir James Pliny Whitney]
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