George Anthony Walkem

George Anthony Walkem (* November 15, 1834 in Newry, Ireland, † January 13, 1908 in Victoria ) was a Canadian politician, lawyer and judge. He was twice, a total of five years, Prime Minister of British Columbia; February 11, 1874 to the February 1, 1876 and 25 June 1878 to 13 June 1882. Subsequently he was a member of the Supreme Court of this province.

Provincial policy

The family emigrated in 1847 to the former province of Canada, where his father found work with the Royal Engineers. Walkem studied law at McGill University in Montreal in 1858 and was admitted to the bar of Lower Canada, in 1861 that for Upper Canada. During the Cariboo Gold Rush in 1862, he moved to British Columbia and settled in the mine Cariboo region. Matthew Baillie Begbie, Chief Justice, at first refused admission because he preferred trained lawyers in the UK, but had to yield to the pressure of 1863 Governor James Douglas.

Beginning in 1864, belonged to the Walkem consisting of members appointed Legislative Council of the colony. He advocated the merger of the colony of British Columbia and the Vancouver colony Iceland. Together with Cupid De Cosmos, John Robson, he founded in 1868 the Confederation League, which successfully campaigned for the accession of the United Colonies of Vancouver Iceland and British Columbia to the Canadian Confederation. In the first election to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in October 1871, he was elected as MP for the constituency of Cariboo (at that time there were no political parties ).

Prime minister

Prime Minister Amor De Cosmos Walkem appointed in December 1872 Attorney General. After his resignation he stepped on February 11, 1874 itself to the Office of the Prime Minister. Walkems government called on the federal government in Ottawa to finally start the construction of the transcontinental railroad. After the elections in October 1875, he was able to govern with a reduced majority, but lost on February 1, 1876 vote of no confidence. Walkem resigned and was two and a half years, opposition leaders. Prime Minister Andrew Charles Elliott lost at the elections in May 1878 its headquarters and Lieutenant Governor Albert Norton Richards appointed Walkem on June 25, 1878 again as head of government.

The new government opposed the immigration of Chinese workers and awarded no longer works contracts to companies that employed Chinese. They also introduced a special tax only for the Chinese, but said the Canadian Supreme Court as unconstitutional. During the election campaign Walkem had threatened British Columbia will leak out of the Confederacy, the construction of the promised transcontinental railway line should not begin before 1879. The provincial government intervened directly in London, after which the British government put pressure on the federal government.

In April 1882 Walkem survived almost a no-confidence vote, which had been requested by the opposition because of massive cost overruns of a port project on Vancouver Iceland. On 13 June 1882 one month before the elections, he resigned because he had been appointed by the Prime Minister of Canada Sir John A. Macdonald in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. This he was a member until October 1903. 1886 joined Walkem the Masons.