Charles Gavan Power

Charles Gavan Power
The Honourable
Charles Gavan Power
Senator for Gulf
In office
28 July 1955 – 30 May 1968
Appointed by Louis St. Laurent
Preceded by Joseph Arthur Lesage
Succeeded by Paul Lafond
Member of Parliament for Quebec South
In office
Preceded by The electoral district was created in 1914.
Succeeded by Francis Gavan Power
Postmaster General
In office
19 September 1939 – 22 May 1940
Preceded by Norman Alexander McLarty
Succeeded by James Lorimer Ilsley (acting)
Minister of Pensions and National Health
In office
23 October 1935 – 18 September 1939
Preceded by Donald Matheson Sutherland
Succeeded by Ian Alistair Mackenzie
Personal details
Born 18 January 1888
Sillery, Quebec
Died 30 May 1968(1968-05-30) (aged 80)
Political party Liberal
Occupation Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholic

Charles Gavan "Chubby" Power, MC, PC (18 January 1888 – 30 May 1968) was a Canadian politician and athlete. Power's father, William Power, was also a Member of Parliament from Quebec, retiring in 1917. He had three brothers James, Joe who were also athletes and William Gerard Power who became a member of the Legislative Council of Quebec.

Born in Sillery, Quebec, Power played ice hockey while studying law. From 1906, he played for the Quebec Bulldogs of the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association (ECAHA). A proficient scorer, he scored four goals in one game in 1908 and five goals in a game in 1909.

He entered politics in the 1917 federal election, after having been wounded during the Battle of the Somme. He was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry during military operations. He was elected as a "Laurier Liberal" during the Conscription Crisis of 1917.

In 1935, Power was appointed minister of pensions and health in the Liberal cabinet of William Lyon Mackenzie King.

Charles Gavan Power from Canadian men of affairs in cartoon (1922)

During World War II, he served as minister of national defence for air, and was responsible for expanding the Royal Canadian Air Force. His opposition to conscription led him to resign from Cabinet during the Conscription Crisis of 1944 after the government passed an Order in Council to send conscripts overseas. Power sat as an "Independent Liberal" for the duration of the war and was re-elected as an Independent Liberal in the 1945 federal election. He subsequently rejoined the party and ran to succeed King in the 1948 Liberal leadership convention, but came a poor third.

Charles Power retired from the House of Commons in 1955. He was appointed to the Senate of Canada on 28 July 1955 and served until his death in 1968. His grandson Lawrence Cannon was elected to the Canadian House of Commons in 2006 as a Conservative.


  • Power, Charles Gavan, 1888–1968 and Ward, Norman, 1918-1990. A party politician: the memoirs of Chubby Power / Edited by Norman Ward. Toronto : Macmillan of Canada, 1966. 419 p. : plates. ; 24 cm.

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