Sir Clifford Sifton

(1861—1929) politician in Canada

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(1861–1929), lawyer, entrepreneur, politician, newspaper publisher. Born in Ontario, Sifton practised law in Brandon from 1882 and was elected to the Manitoba legislature in 1888. Appointed attorney general in the Liberal government of Thomas Greenway in 1891, he became the principal defender of the government's controversial legislation of 1890 to create a ‘national’ school system. In 1896 he became minister of the interior and superintendent-general of Indian Affairs in the government of Sir Wilfrid Laurier. He reformed the immigration system, advertising Canada aggressively in the United States, Britain, and continental Europe, attracting large numbers of agricultural settlers, and bringing new efficiency to the settlement process. He was responsible for government policy in the Yukon during the gold rush that began in 1897, and was Canadian agent-general during the Alaska Boundary Tribunal of 1903. Sifton resigned in 1905 during a dispute with Laurier over educational policy when the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan were created. He opposed the reciprocity agreement of 1911, siding with the victorious Conservatives under Sir Robert Borden. Sifton supported conscription and aided in forming the Union government in 1917. He headed the Canadian Commission of Conservation, 1909–18. He was also owner of the Manitoba Free Press.

From The Oxford Companion to Canadian History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: History of the Americas.

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