Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
August 2004

Biographies of Prominent Quebec and Canadian

Historical Figures

John George Bourinot



Damien-Claude Bélanger,

Department of History,

McGill University


Journalist, historian, and civil servant, was born at Sydney, Nova Scotia. He was educated at Trinity College, Toronto. The son of a prominent Cape Breton politician, Bourinot founded the Halifax Herald in 1860. In 1873 he was appointed assistant clerk of the Canadian House of Commons, and became its chief clerk in 1880. A foremost authority on constitutional law and parliamentary procedure, his Parliamentary Procedure and Practice in the Dominion of Canada (1884) was the standard work on the subject for several decades. A founding member of the Royal Society of Canada, Bourinot became its president in 1892, and supervised the publication of nineteen volumes of the Society's Proceedings and Transactions. He was awarded a CMG in 1890 and a KCMG in 1898. An ardent imperialist and a prolific author, Sir John George Bourinot's writings emphasized the superiority of British and Canadian political institutions over American ones. His interest in comparative government and political institutions has led some scholars to view him as "the first political scientist in Canada ."


[Consult the biography of Bourinot at the Canadian Biographical Dictionary ]



© 2004 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College