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Joe Clark (Clark Charles Joseph)

( Prime Minister of Canada.)

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Biography Joe Clark (Clark Charles Joseph)
photo Joe Clark (Clark Charles Joseph)
Born June 5, 1939 in High River (Alberta). Born, raised, and educated in Alberta, with degrees in History and Political Science, Clark studied law at Dalhousie University, where he first became politically active. He was a journalist with local newspapers in Alberta 1964 - 6, and then from 1966 to 1967 a member of the political science department at his Alma Mater, the University of Alberta.

His first and intimate exposure to federal politics came as executive assistant to Robert L. Stanfield, when the latter was leader of the Opposition in Ottawa 1967 - 70. Clark soon acquired a reputation as an expert back-room operator. He entered the Canadian parliament in 1972 as Progressive Conservative MP for Rocky Mountain (later Yellowhead) Riding (constituency), which he was to represent uninterruptedly to 1993. In 1976 he became leader of the federal Progressive Conservative Party.

He defeated Pierre Trudeau at the May 1979 general election and was sworn in as Canada's sixteenth and youngest Prime Minister on 4 June, one day before his 40th birthday. Winning only two seats in Quebec, the PCs made major gains in Ontario and Western Canada, electing 136 members, six short of a majority. Clark's proved to be a rather desultory, accident-prone ministry which did not gain any ground politically. On 18 February 1980 the Canadian electorate returned the Liberals to power, headed again by Trudeau, with a majority government. The Liberals won 146 seats compared to 103 for the PCs. The Clark government had lasted 272 days, the shortest of any elected administration in Canada's history.

Subsequently, though deposed as leader of his party, he maintained a high reputation for competence and integrity. Indeed, as Canada's Foreign Minister 1984 - 91 and then as Minister for Constitutional Affairs and concurrently President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada 1991 - 3, Clark enjoyed a high reputation nationally and internationally at a time when those of his Prime Minister and most Cabinet colleagues were slumping. Previously unilingual, he worked hard to improve his French and to become bilingual. He was an active chairman of the Commonwealth's Committee of Foreign Ministers on South Africa.

Since leaving parliament in 1993 Clark has been the UN's Special Representative in Cyprus.


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Joe Clark (Clark Charles Joseph), photo, biography
Joe Clark (Clark Charles Joseph), photo, biography Joe Clark (Clark Charles Joseph)  Prime Minister of Canada., photo, biography
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