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The Speakers of the Senate of Canada


Hon. Hewitt Bostock
P.C., M.A. (1922–1930)

A British Columbia rancher and fruit-​grower, Hewitt Bostock settled in Canada in 1893 at the age of 29. He arrived with a degree in mathematics from the University of Cambridge and qualifications to practise law from Lincoln’s Inn, London – neither of which he used in his new career – and a certain amount of wealth from his late father’s investments.

In 1894, he founded the Province as an anti-Conservative weekly newspaper in Victoria, and four years later he moved to the mainland to re-found the paper as the Vancouver Daily Province; it would grow to have the largest circulation in British Columbia. He started up his second paper, the Kamloops Inland Sentinel, in 1896 to support his successful campaign as a Liberal for a seat in the House of Commons. He did not run in the general election of 1900, and was nominated for appointment as a senator by Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1904.

In 1914, Bostock became Leader of the Opposition in the Senate. While serving in this position, however, he was in favour of conscription as proposed by Conservative Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden’s Military Service Act of 1917, and supported Borden’s Union government. Later, he reconciled with the Liberals, and the new Liberal Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King appointed him to two Cabinet posts in December 1921–January 1922. He resigned both positions in February to accept the Speakership of the Senate, which he held for more than eight years, the longest term until the 1990s.

In 1925, Bostock was chosen as one of Canada’s three delegates to the Sixth Assembly of the League of Nations in Geneva.

Bostock is the only Speaker in the history of the Senate to have held office during three Parliaments.

Next Speaker: Hon. Arthur Charles Hardy

Previous Speaker: Hon. Joseph Bolduc

Portrait of the Honourable Hewitt Bostock

Born: Walton Heath, England, 1864

Died: Monte Creek, British Columbia, 1930

Professional Background:
Agriculture, Business, Law

Political Affiliation: Liberal

Political Record:

Prime Ministers During Speakership: