BC Premier #21: Thomas Dufferin Pattullo

Good news: I’m blogging after four whole days without blogging1.  Bad news: I’m back to writing boring blog postings about ancient BC premiers.

And, with that, here’s all the information you never wanted to know about the 21st Premier of the Province of British Columbia!

File:Thomas Dufferin Pattullo.jpg Name Thomas Dufferin Pattullo
Born: January 19, 1873 in Woodstock, Ontario
Died: March 30, 1956 in Victoria, BC
Party: Liberal
Held Office: November 15, 1933 – December 9, 1941
  • the Pattullo Bridge was named after T.D. Pattullo.  This is the only reason I’ve ever heard of this guy before now and the reason why people swear in his name every day during rush hour
  • early jobs included: journalist, editor, secretary to the Commissioner of the Yukon (a position he got due to his father’s connections), acting assistant gold commissioner, real estate/insurance business, member of the Dawson City council
  • 1908: moved to Prince Rupert, BC; became mayor
  • 1916: won the seat for Prince Rupert, a new riding, in the provincial legislature; appointed Minister of Lands
  • 1928: became leader of Liberal Party, who had lost the government to the Conservatives; thus, he was now the Leader of the Opposition
  • 1933: became premier when the Liberals took the government back. This was pretty easy though, since the Conservative party didn’t run any candidates in this election as their party was all messed up
  • as premier during the Great Depression, he :attempted to extend government services and relief to the unemployed”2; “frustration with the limitations of provincial power led to a battle with Ottawa that resulted in a reappraisal of Canadian federalism”3.
  • 1937: won the election on a platform of “socialized capitalism”
  • 1941: won only a minority government as the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF; the forerunner to the New Democratic Party, NDP) was on the rise. Refusing to form a coalition with the Conservatives, his party ousted him as the leader and formed the coalition anyway
  • 1945: lost his seat; retired from politics
  • 1956: died

In conclusion, I have no idea why the Patullo Bridge was named after this guy.

Image credits: Accessed from Wikipedia. In the public domain. Yay photos from prior to 1949!

Footnotes and References:

  1. You may pick from one of my many possible excuses, including: work is busy, teaching is busy, I spend 7.5 hours per week driving to and from work, I’m lazy []
  2. Wikipedia, the reference of champions []
  3. Canadian Encyclopedia []

5 Replies to “BC Premier #21: Thomas Dufferin Pattullo”

  1. I work with his grandson. Or great-grandson. Or nephew. Or something. I work for the same company as him but in a different office. As such, I’ve never met him in person.

  2. They named it after him because he was premier when it was built and dedicated. He also said it was "a thing of beauty." Tod says of that, "Yes, he was likely stoned."

  3. Good Grief..why don’t you read the book about him “Pattullo” ?
    He commissioned the construction of the bridge at the astronomical cost of something like $3,000,000 which made even the liberal tax payers of the day swallow hard.
    Arguably BC’s best premier and certainly on par with WAC Bennett.
    In its day it was a beautiful bridge; and the only public bridge across the Fraser River other than the Alexandria Bridge above Yale built in the late 1800’s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.