Edward Blake

December 20, 1871 – October 25, 1872
Edward Blake by Edmund Wyly Grier. Source: Library and Archives Canada.Pinterest
Edward Blake by Edmund Wyly Grier. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

For much of the time Sir John A. Macdonald served as Prime Minister, the brilliant Edward Blake sat across from him in the Commons as Leader of the Opposition. A brilliant scholar, particularly in legal matters, Blake also served in Alexander Mackenzie's cabinet and had been, for a very short period, Premier of Ontario. He became Liberal leader after Alexander Mackenzie and was known for his eloquent parliamentary addresses and critiques of the Macdonald government. His condemnation of Macdonald over the Louis Riel episodes in the 1880s remains famous. He later left the leadership and was replaced by a youthful Wilfrid Laurier who would, unlike Blake, become Prime Minister.