Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
January 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Sir Albert Edward Kemp


Kemp, Sir Albert Edward (1858-1929), manufacturer and statesman, was born at Clarenceville, Quebec, on August 11, 1858, the son of Robert Kemp, a farmer and country merchant. He was educated at the Clarenceville Academy and the Lacolle Academy. Beginning life as a book-keeper, he became one of the leading manufacturers in Canada, as president of the Kemp Manufacturing Co. of Toronto, makers of sheet-metal wares; and he was president of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association in 1895-7. In 1900 he was elected Conservative member for East Toronto, in the Canadian House of Commons; and he continued to represent this constituency continuously, except for the years 1908-11, when he was out of parliament, until 1921. In 1911 he became a minister without portfolio in the Borden government; and during the Great War he played an increasingly important part in the government of Canada. In 1915 he was appointed chairman of the War Purchasing Commission; in 1916, he succeeded Sir Sam Hughes as minister of militia and defence; and in 1917 he went to London as minister of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada, a portfolio which he retained until the demobilization of the Canadian overseas forces was completed. In 1918 he was a member of the Imperial War Cabinet; and in 1919 he was one of the commissioners and plenipotentiaries representing Canada at the Peace Conference in Paris. In the formation of the Meighen government in 1920, he took office, but without portfolio; and in 1921 he was gazetted a member of the Senate of Canada. In 1927 he retired from business, and he died at Pigeon lake, Ontario , on August 12, 1929. In 1917 he was created, in recognition of his war services, a K.C.M.G. He was twice married; first, in 1879, to Miss Wilson (d. 1924), by whom he had three daughters; and second, in 1925, to Mrs. Norman Copping, by whom he had one daughter.

Source : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. III, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 396p., p. 325.



© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College