Historical leaders

Progressive Conservative Leaders

James William Johnston
Premier: February 24, 1857 February 7, 1860; June 11, 1863 May 11, 1864
Party Leader: 1843 May 11, 1864
House Leader: 1843 May 11, 1864
Born: August 29, 1792 at Jamaica
Died: November 21, 1873 at Cheltenham, England
Notes: Fully recognized as Conservative Leader.

Sir Charles Tupper
Premier: May 11, 1864 July 4, 1867
Party Leader: May 11, 1864 July 4, 1867
House Leader: May 11, 1864 July 4, 1867
Born: July 2, 1821 at Amherst, NS
Died: October 30, 1915 at Bexley Heath, England
Notes: Fully recognized as Conservative Leader.

Hiram Blanchard
Premier: July 4, 1867 September 30, 1867
Party Leader: July 4, 1867 November 30, 1874
House Leader: July 4, 1867 November 30, 1874
Born: January 17, 1820 at West River, Pictou County, NS
Died: December 17, 1874 at Halifax, NS
Notes: As Attorney general from July 4 to November 7, 1867, was usually considered to be leader of the government. In 1868 he was the leader of the opposition. During his absence from the Assembly in 1869, 1870 and 1871, Amos Purdy acted as chief spokesperson for the few oppositionists. From 1872 to 1874 Blanchard again led the opposition, but he did not receive unquestioned recognition.

Simon Hugh Holmes
Premier: October 22, 1878 May 23, 1882
Party Leader: 1875 May 25, 1882
House Leader: 1875 May 25, 1882
Born: July 30, 1831 at Springvale, Pictou County, NS
Died: October 14, 1919 at Halifax, NS
Notes: Holmes assumed the leadership of the opposition in the House in 1875 with the passive acceptance of his fellow Assemblymen. After the Conservative victory of 1878 he was called upon to form the government and thus became Premier.

Sir John Sparrow David Thompson
Premier: May 25, 1882 July 18, 1882
Party Leader: May 25, 1882 August 3, 1882
House Leader: May 25, 1882 August 3, 1882
Born: November 10, 1844 at Halifax, NS
Died: November 10, 1894 at England
Notes: On Holmes’ resignation he became Premier. Fully recognized as Conservative Leader.

Adam Carr Bell
Premier: n/a
Party Leader: 1882 January 22, 1887
House Leader: 1882 January 22, 1887
Born: November 11, 1847 at Pictou, NS
Died: October 30, 1912 at Montreal, PQ
Notes: Bell assumed the leadership in 1882 as the leading ex Cabinet Minister. Although he resigned the “leadership of the party” in 1887, he never received official recognition as attested to by the fact that he was nowhere described during the campaign of 1886.

Dr. William McKay
Premier: n/a
Party Leader: 1887 1890; 1894 1897
House Leader: 1887 1890; 1894 1897
Born: September 11, 1847 at Earltown, Colchester Co., NS
Died: November 8, 1915 at Reserve Mines, NS
Notes: Selected by caucus in 1897. He was not recognized as the leader of the provincial party during the campaign of 1890. After Cahan’s defeat, McKay again assumed the position of Leader of the Opposition. He resigned in 1897, apparently as Leader of the Party, because Stairs was about to assume that position. Never received complete recognition as Conservative Leader.

Charles Hazlett Cahan
Premier: n/a
Party Leader: 1890 1894
House Leader: 1890 1894
Born: October 31, 1861 at Hebron, NS
Died: August 15, 1944 at Montreal, PQ
Notes: Selected by caucus. In the election of 1894 he was considered by the Herald to be the Leader of the Opposition.

John Fitzwilliam Stairs
Premier: n/a
Party Leader: March 4, 1897 ?
House Leader: n/a
Born: January 19, 1848 at Halifax, NS
Died: September 29, 1904 at Toronto, ON
Notes: Selected by the annual meeting of the Party Association. He did not officially resign.

Charles Smith Wilcox
Premier: n/a
Party Leader: n/a
House Leader: 1898 1901; 1909
Born: December 21, 1852 at Windsor, NS
Died: October 10, 1909 at Windsor, NS
Notes: Accepted in 1898 by the other two Conservative Assemblymen. Accepted again in 1909 by the Caucus.

Charles Elliott Tanner
Premier: n/a
Party Leader: 1912 1916
House Leader: 1902 1908; 1912 1916
Born: October 7, 1857 at Pictou, NS
Died: January 13, 1946 at Liverpool, NS
Notes: As the leading Conservative Assemblyman he assumed the position in 1902 because of ability. Selected again in 1912 by the Caucus to be both the House Leader and the Party leader. He did not officially resign.

John McKay Baillie
Premier: n/a
Party Leader: n/a
House Leader: 1909 1911
Born: December 10, 1847 at Earltown, Colchester Co., NS
Died: May 4, 1913 at New Glasgow, NS
Notes: Selected by the Caucus.

William Lorimer Hall
Premier: n/a
Party Leader: June 29, 1922 May 12, 1925
House Leader: 1917 1920
Born: July 28, 1876 at Melvern Square, Annapolis Co., NS
Died: May 26, 1958 at Halifax, NS
Notes: Selected by the Caucus in 1917. Selected by a Party convention in 1922.

Howard William Corning
Premier: n/a
Party Leader: n/a
House Leader: 1921 1924
Born: April 17, 1879
Died: September 29, 1924
Notes: Selected by the consent of the other two Conservative Assemblymen.

Edgar Nelson Rhodes
Premier: July 16, 1925 August 11, 1930
May 21, 1925 August 11, 1930 (Party Leader and House Leader)
Born: January 5, 1877 at Amherst, NS
Died: March 15, 1942 at Ottawa, ON
Notes: Selected by a meeting of the Party executive and Party candidates.

Gordon Sidney Harrington
Premier: August 11, 1930 September 5, 1933
Party Leader: August 11, 1930 August, 1935; July 14, 1936 September 17, 1937
House Leader: August 11, 1930 September 17, 1937
Born: August 7, 1883 at Halifax, NS
Died: July 4, 1943 at Halifax, NS
Notes: Invited to be Premier by the Lieutenant Governor on the advice of Rhodes. Although he resigned as Party leader, he stayed on as Opposition Leader. Selected again in 1936 as Party and House Leader by a Party convention.

Percy Chapman Black
Premier: n/a
Party Leader: n/a
House Leader: 1938 1939
Born: January 11, 1878 at Amherst, NS
Died: September 16, 1961 at Amherst, NS
Notes: Selected by the Caucus.

Fred Murray Blois
Premier: n/a
Party Leader: n/a
House Leader: 1940; 1941 1945
Born: March 30, 1893 at Gore, Hants Co., NS
Died: August 30, 1984
Notes: Selected by the Caucus.

Leonard William Fraser
Premier: n/a
Party Leader: October 9, 1940 1946
House Leader: October 9, 1940 1941
Born: April 1, 1902 at Amherst, NS
Died: September 18, 1957 at Halifax, NS
Notes: Selected by a Party convention.

Robert Lorne Stanfield
Premier: November 20, 1956 September 13, 1967
Party Leader: November 10, 1948 September 13, 1967
House Leader: June 9, 1949 September 13, 1967
Born: April 11, 1914 at Truro, NS
Died: December 16, 2003 at Ottawa, ON
Notes: Selected by a Party convention.

George Isaac Smith
Premier: September 13, 1967 October 28, 1970
Party Leader: September 13, 1967 March 6, 1971
House Leader: September 13, 1967 March 6, 1971
Born: April 6, 1909 at Stewiacke, NS
Died: August 19, 1982 at Truro, NS
Notes: Selected by Cabinet. Confirmed by the annual meeting of the Party Association in November of 1967.

John MacLennan Buchanan
Premier: October 5, 1978 September 12, 1990
Party Leader: March 6, 1971 September 12, 1990
House Leader: March 6, 1971 September 12, 1990
Born: April 22, 1931 at Sydney, NS
Died: n/a
Notes: Selected by a Party convention.

Roger Stuart Bacon
Premier: September 12, 1990 February 26, 1991
Party Leader: Selected by Cabinet and ratified by party executive
House Leader: September 12, 1990 February 26, 1991
Born: June 29, 1926 at Upper Nappan, NS
Died: n/a
Notes: Selected by the Cabinet.

Donald William Cameron
Premier: February 26, 1991 June 11, 1993
Party Leader: February 26, 1991 June 11, 1993
House Leader: February 26, 1991 June 11, 1993
Born: May 20, 1946 at Egerton, Pictou County, NS
Died: n/a
Notes: Selected by a Party convention.

Terence Richard Boyd Donahoe
Premier: n/a
Party Leader: Selected by Caucus and ratified by party executive
House Leader: June 11, 1993 – October 28, 1995
Born: October 30, 1944 at Halifax, NS
Died: November 29, 2005 at Halifax, NS
Notes: Selected by the Caucus.

John Frederick Hamm
Premier: July 27, 1999 February 24, 2006
Party Leader: October 28, 1995 February 11, 2006
House Leader: October 28, 1995 February 24, 2006
Born: April 8, 1938 at Stellarton, NS
Notes: Selected by a Party convention.

Rodney Joseph MacDonald
Premier: February 24, 2006 June 9 2009
Party Leader: February 11, 2006 – June 24, 2009
House Leader: February 24, 2006
Born: January 2, 1972 at Inverness, NS
Notes: Selected by a Party convention