Can You Name the Canadian Prime Minister From Only One Fact?



By: Heather Cahill

6 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons by Ben Sparkes

About This Quiz

Part of being a Canadian is knowing the history of our country. While we can't possibly know every single detail, the more, the better! Knowing the details about a candidate we're voting for or not voting for is only half the battle. Understanding the history of important issues and political parties helps everyone to make informed choices.

It's essential to know the prime ministers who shaped Canada. We should try to understand what they were like and what they valued, as well as how they worked while in power. To a certain degree, we can apply this to how we choose to vote today. 

At the same time, learning a few trivial facts about each prime minister also adds to the fun. There have been quite a few eccentric and interesting people in the office. Gather up your knowledge of their hometowns, their careers and facts about their time in office, and you'll be more than prepared for this quiz.

Think you've got a handle on Canadian politics? In this quiz, you've got one fact and an image to work with, so you'll have to make it count. Take the quiz to prove that you know the people who have governed the country!

This person spent time as a stonemason's apprentice before taking office. Can you name him?

Stonemason to prime minister is not the path of most people, but for Alexander Mackenzie, it was an important path. He switched from stonemasonry to general contracting to increase his employment opportunities, and it all seemed to have worked out — he became Canada's second prime minister


Which of the following was the first French Canadian prime minister?

Attending the Diamond Jubilee for the Queen is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, which Laurier had the privilege of doing. He was knighted at the time. He was known for his ability to compromise and sought unity between French and English Canadians.


He was a father to three sons and three daughters. Who is he?

Sir Charles Tupper was the sixth prime minister. With an equal number of sons and daughters, Tupper had a lot on his hands, although two daughters died in infancy. His time in politics and law influenced his children, with two of his sons later being involved in politics themselves.


The reduction of the Goods and Services Tax to 5% is attributed to whom?

While it was a gradual road to get down to 5%, Stephen Harper and the conservatives decided to lower this tax. Much of what was done under Harper involved cutting spending and dealing with other economic issues in Canada.


He was once the mayor of Montreal. Do you know his name?

Not only was he a mayor for the city, but he also invested money into Montreal businesses. His impact on the entire country can still be felt today through his work with the Canadian Pacific Railway. He was laid to rest in Montreal.


Which of the following is known for being the president of the United Nations?

Lester B. Pearson participated in the United Nations even before he was Canada's 14th prime minister from 1963 to 1968. He served as president of the UN in the 1950s and won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1957.


Can you name the prime minister who has a species of bird for a middle name?

Sir John Thompson is generally known by his first and last name, but did you know that one of his middle names is "Sparrow"? John Sparrow David Thompson worked alongside Prime Minister John A. MacDonald for a few years before he himself took the position.


He was born two days after Christmas. Do you know who he is?

December was an important month for Sir Mackenzie Bowell! His birthday and Christmas both fall in this month, plus he began serving as prime minister in December 1894. Unfortunately, December also marked the end of his life. Bowell was Canada's fifth prime minister.


Which prime minister endorsed the Kelowna Accord?

Paul Martin focused on the lives of Aboriginals in Canada. The Kelowna Accord addressed issues including education, employment and living conditions for Aboriginal people, with five national Aboriginal organizations participating in the process.


You probably know him best as the first prime minister of Canada. Who is he?

There's a first for everything, and Sir John A. MacDonald set a precedent when he became Canada's first prime minister. He served two nonconsecutive terms as prime minister, with the first starting in 1867 upon Confederation. He died in office during his second term.


During his term, he was very optimistic about Canada in the 20th century. Do you know who he is?

Sir Wilfrid Laurier was prime minister at the start of a new century, serving from 1896 to 1911. He went into it with great enthusiasm, stating, "The 20th century shall be the century of Canada and Canadian development."


This person is known for serving the shortest term in office. What's his name?

Sir Charles Tupper is known for his short term in office — only 68 days. He died in office at the age of 94. He was appointed by the governor general after the resignation of Sir Mackenzie Bowell. He had been considered for the job in the past, when other prime ministers left office.


His time in politics was largely influenced by the Tupper family. It's not Charles Tupper, so who could it be?

Many prime ministers knew each other before or during their terms in office. In Sir Robert Borden's case, he was close with the Tupper family through Sir Charles Tupper's son. Borden was the country's eighth prime minister, serving two terms.


Do you know which of the following was known for his incredible ability to debate?

Serving two short terms in office, Arthur Meighen was known for his incredible ability to debate. Going up against him in the House of Commons was no easy task, even if you were well prepared!


Which prime minister is the son of another prime minister?

The government runs in the Trudeau family! Starting with Pierre Elliott Trudeau as the 15th prime minister, young Justin Trudeau later followed in his father's footsteps, becoming the 23rd. Both men are famous for many of their decisions and have gone down in Canadian history.


Which person served as dean of the faculty of law at McGill for many years before becoming Canada's prime minister?

Sir John Abbott didn't only teach at McGill University and serve as dean of the law faculty, but he was also a graduate of the school. One of his students was Sir Wilfrid Laurier, another future prime minister!


Can you name the prime minister who was once named as chairman of Forbes Global Business and Finance magazine?

Brian Mulroney was chairman of more than just an international Forbes magazine! He was also heavily involved with a media company in Quebec. He's been honored on many occasions for his work and he's received many honorary degrees.


Very charitable, this person gave $25,000 to charities annually. Who is it?

Richard Bedford Bennett was arguably one of the more charitable prime ministers. His yearly donation of $25,000 to charities went a long way in the 1930s, during the Depression. Of course, this money went to a variety of individuals and causes.


Before becoming prime minister, he was the minister of justice under Mackenzie King. Can you name him?

Just like many before and after him, Louis St. Laurent studied law as a young man. Even before he served as minister of justice, he declined a seat on the Supreme Court of Canada. St. Laurent was the 12th prime minister of Canada.


Which of these men served three terms in office?

William Lyon Mackenzie King was in office for three non-consecutive terms, serving a total of 21 years, 154 days. He guided Canada through both the Great Depression and World War II.


Which of the following was the first prime minister to allow Aboriginal people to vote?

One monumental moment in Canadian history was allowing Aboriginal people to vote for the first time. Since 1960, every citizen of the nation has the right to vote, thanks to work done by John Diefenbaker during his term.


He and his government passed a law stating that all civil servants should be bilingual. Do you know who he is?

For Pierre Elliott Trudeau, bilingualism was an issue in Canada. He wanted to make English and French equal within the Federal government, so he created the Official Languages Act to recognize both.


This individual's father was in the newspaper industry. Who is this prime minister?

Joe Clark grew up in Alberta, where his father ran the High River Times newspaper. He even got into the trade himself as a freelancer, before entering the political scene and eventually becoming the leader of the Conservative Party.


Who served as Canada's fourth prime minister?

While many prime ministers served long terms, Sir John Thompson's time in office was only two years, due to his death in 1894. He has fallen into relative obscurity, but he should be remembered for supporting women's rights at a time when doing so was not popular.


Do you know who was opposed to the Free Trade Agreement?

Though an expert on all things free trade, John Turner was against it as a whole. He was the leader of the governing Liberal Party, and despite being against the agreement, he was elected as prime minister. He served for one brief term, in 1984.


She is the only female prime minister in Canada, as of 2019. Do you know her name?

Kim Campbell made history by becoming Canada's first female prime minister in 1993. While her time in office was short, it was an important period for the country. Campbell was also the first female justice minister in Canada.


He's known for his participation in the Shamrock Summit, but what is his name?

Brian Mulroney joined U.S. President Ronald Reagan on St. Patrick's Day for a famous meeting, dubbed the Shamrock Summit. One important topic was the Free Trade Agreement for North America that John Turner later fought hard to end.


Of the following, who was once a parliamentary secretary?

As a parliamentary secretary, Jean Chretien worked with the minister of finance. Shortly after, he became a minister himself, which gave him more political experience. He eventually became the leader of the Liberal Party.


He was once the minister of militia and defence under Prime Minister John Thompson. Who is he?

Having prior experience with the Belleville Volunteer Militia Rifle Company, Mackenzie Bowell was a great fit to serve as the minister of militia and defence under John Thompson. He also worked in journalism before his time in office.


During his time as minister of Indian affairs and Northern development, who created 10 new national parks?

Creating new national parks is no easy feat, but it was part of Jean Chretien's job as minister of Indian affairs and Northern development. In this position, he worked to solve issues within Indigenous communities.


Before becoming a Conservative, he was once part of the Reform Party. Can you name him?

Stephen Harper wasn't always part of the Conservative Party — he was a founding member of the Reform Party. Eventually, the Reform Party merged with the Progressive Conservative Party, and Harper became the leader of the new Conservative Party.


This person was supposed to be knighted on multiple occasions but ultimately chose not to be. Do you know his name?

Alexander Mackenzie was chosen to be knighted, but he had no interest in it. While many prime ministers before and after him jumped at this opportunity, Alexander chose to embrace his working class origins and decline.


He went to Harvard long before becoming the prime minister. Who is he?

The famous school was lucky enough to have one of Canada's future most famous prime ministers as a student in the late 1800s. Shortly after his schooling, he was already getting his start in politics under Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier.


Do you know the name of the only prime minister born in Ottawa?

While Pierre Elliott Trudeau was in office, his son Justin was born in Ottawa. You could say that he was destined to one day become the next Canadian prime minister. He was basically born into it, after all! He's the second youngest prime minister, as of 2019; the youngest was Joe Clark.


He had never been to the city of Victoria, British Columbia, but he became their MP. Do you know his name?

Typically, members of parliament are at the very least familiar with the area they serve. For a time, Sir John A. MacDonald served the people of Victoria, despite never having visited the area. He was instrumental in the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, albeit it with some political scandal. The railway was completed in 1885.


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