Mowat, Sir Oliver

views updated

Sir Oliver Mowat (mō´ət), 1820–1903, Canadian statesman, b. Upper Canada (now Ontario). A lawyer, he entered (1857) the Legislative Assembly and held cabinet posts before becoming vice-chancellor of Ontario (1864–72). As a member of the Quebec conference in 1864, he helped to draft the resolutions on confederation. Mowat was champion of provincial autonomy, and his long term (1872–96) as Liberal premier and attorney general of Ontario was markedly successful in assuring local sovereignty to that province. Appointed (1896) to the dominion senate, he was minister of justice under Sir Wilfrid Laurier until 1897, when he accepted the post of lieutenant governor of Ontario. He was knighted in 1892.