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City Government

Mayor Edward John Blaquier

Portrait of Mayor Edward John BlaquierEdward John Blaquier was born in Middlesex County, Ontario but had moved to Port Arthur by 1910, where he was part-owner of a shoe store. He spent time in Regina, Saskatchewan, and travelled around the country for business purposes. By 1913, he was back in Port Arthur, and established a real estate and insurance company which advocated the selling of lots in Jumbo Gardens. He also had a school house built in the subdivision in 1916. 

In 1916, Blaquier’s first year on Council, he campaigned for an expansion of the City's lighting system to Jumbo Gardens. This was controversial, as the subdivision was outside the City limits in McIntyre Township. Blaquier's actions prompted criticism from the press, in particulary the Port Arthur News Chronicle.

Blaquier's two Mayoral elections were close contests, winning by only 17 votes in 1918, and by only 87 votes in 1919. During his two terms as Mayor, Blaquier adamantly defended maintaining and improving local business and industries, such as obtaining hydro-electric power for the city, improving Fort William Road, continuing the street railway to the elevators and pulp mill, and working together with Fort William more successfully. Finances became a serious problem by the end of 1919, as the Financial Post nationally condemned both Port Arthur and Blaquier for mismanaging public money.

Blaquier ran as an independent candidate in the provincial elections in 1919 and 1923, however, was unsuccessful both times. After the Provincial Election in 1923, Blaquier returned to his hometown, where he ran a fruit and chicken farm. He died in London, Ontario in 1943.

Born: Aug. 5, 1866 in London, Middlesex County, Ontario
Died: Dec. 19, 1943 in London, Ontario at the age of 77
Councillor: 1916-1917
Mayor: 1918-1919

 

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