Claude Bennett

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Claude Bennett
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded byIrwin Haskett
Succeeded byDalton McGuinty, Sr.
ConstituencyOttawa South
Ottawa Controller[note 1]
In office
January 1, 1970 – August 28, 1972 [1]
Preceded byKenneth Hubert Fogarty, Ellen Webber, Murray Heit
Succeeded byTom McDougall[2]
Ottawa Alderman[note 2]
In office
January 1, 1961 – December 31, 1969
Preceded byGeorge Sloan
Succeeded byGary Guzzo
ConstituencyCapital Ward
Acting (Deputy) Mayor of Ottawa
In office
January 1, 1970 – August 28, 1972
Preceded byKenneth Hubert Fogarty
Succeeded byErnie Jones[2]
Personal details
Claude Frederick Bennett

(1936-09-19)September 19, 1936
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
DiedMarch 20, 2020(2020-03-20) (aged 83)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Political partyProgressive Conservative
OccupationInsurance agent

Claude Frederick Bennett (September 19, 1936 – March 20, 2020) was a politician in Ontario, Canada. He served in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1971 to 1987, and as cabinet minister in the governments of Bill Davis and Frank Miller. He was a Progressive Conservative Party member.


Bennett was born in Ottawa, Ontario. He was educated at the High School of Commerce and worked as an insurance agent. He also served as director of the Central Canada Exhibition Association from 1965 to 1978 and was president of the Ottawa Sooner Jr. Football Club from 1965 to 1973.


He served as an alderman and city controller[1] in Ottawa from 1961 to 1969, having first been elected to city council in 1960. He was the city's acting mayor in the period from 1970 to 1972.

Bennett was elected to the Ontario legislature in the 1971 provincial election, winning a convincing victory in Ottawa South.[3] He served concurrently as MPP and on the Ottawa Board of Control before resigning as controller in August 1972 following the passing of a provincial law forbidding MPPs to serve on municipal councils at the same time.[1] He was appointed as a Minister without portfolio in Davis's government on September 28, 1972,[4] and was promoted to Minister of Industry and Tourism on January 15, 1973.[5] He was re-elected by a reduced majority in the 1975 election,[6] and again with a convincing majority in 1977.[7] On January 21, 1978, he was named Minister of Housing.

After six years of governing in a minority parliament, Davis's PCs were returned with a majority government in the 1981 election.[8] Bennett was again returned for Ottawa South, and was named Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.[9] He served in this position for the remainder of the Davis years.

Bennett was on the right-wing of the Progressive Conservative party and was a prominent supporter of Frank Miller at the party's January 1985 leadership convention. When Miller became Premier of Ontario on February 8, 1985, he named Bennett as his Minister of Tourism and Recreation.[10]

The PCs were reduced to a tenuous minority government under Miller's leadership in the 1985 provincial election, and Bennett retained his seat by only 1,337 votes (39.4%) against Liberal Party challenger Andrew Caddell (35.3%).[11] He continued to serve as Minister of Tourism and Recreation and was also named Chair of Cabinet, but he accomplished little in this position before the Miller government was defeated in the house in June 1985. In opposition, Bennett served as his party's Critic for Industry and Trade. He supported Larry Grossman for the party leadership in November 1985, and did not run for re-election in 1987.

Cabinet positions

Ontario Provincial Government of Frank Miller
Cabinet post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Reuben Baetz Minister of Tourism and Recreation
1985 (February–June)
John Eakins
Ontario Provincial Government of Bill Davis
Cabinet posts (3)
Predecessor Office Successor
John Rhodes Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing[note 3]
Dennis Timbrell
John White Minister of Industry and Tourism
John Rhodes
Sub-Cabinet Post
Predecessor Title Successor
Minister Without Portfolio
Responsible for the North Pickering Development Project (Airport Lands)

Corporate appointments and death

From 1990 to 1995, Bennett served as chairman of the board for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. He was president of the Commonwealth Games Association of Canada since 1998 and also served as chair of the Ottawa Transition Board and the Ottawa Airport Authority. On June 29, 2007, he was appointed to sit on the board of directors of the Royal Canadian Mint for a four-year term.

Bennett died in the early morning of March 20, 2020, from a heart attack.[12]



  1. ^ Serving with Pierre Benoit, Lorry Greenberg and Ernie Jones.
  2. ^ 1960-1969 with Don Armstrong (1960-1964) and Charlotte Whitton (1964-1969).
  3. ^ Known as Minister of Housing from 1978-1981.


  1. ^ a b c "Bennett's job may stay open". Ottawa Journal. August 29, 1972. p. 3. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Tom McDougall fills city controller's seat". Ottawa Journal. September 6, 1972. p. 1. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  3. ^ "Riding-by-riding returns in provincial election". The Globe and Mail. October 23, 1971. p. 10.
  4. ^ Manthorpe, Jonathan (September 29, 1972). "Davis names two as super-ministers, 4 to Cabinet posts". The Globe and Mail. pp. 1, 4.
  5. ^ Allen, David (January 15, 1973). "White new treasurer, pledges action to create jobs". Toronto Star. pp. 1, 4.
  6. ^ "Table of vote results for all Ontario ridings". The Globe and Mail. September 19, 1975. p. C12.
  7. ^ "Ontario provincial election results riding by riding". The Globe and Mail. June 10, 1977. p. D9.
  8. ^ Canadian Press (1981-03-20). "Winds of change, sea of security". The Windsor Star. Windsor, Ontario. p. 22. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
  9. ^ "Who went where". The Globe and Mail. January 23, 1978. p. 1.
  10. ^ "The Ontario Cabinet". The Globe and Mail. February 9, 1985. p. 4.
  11. ^ "Results of vote in Ontario election". The Globe and Mail. May 3, 1985. p. 13.
  12. ^ "Long-time Ottawa public servant Claude Bennett passes away". Ottawa Matters. March 20, 2020.

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