Honourable Sir Frederick W.A.G. Haultain was the first and only lawyer of the North West Territories from 1897-1905.
In 1884, after being called to the Bar in the North West Territories, Haultain made his way to Fort Macleod. He also served as Crown Prosecutor at that location for several years and did some editorial work for the Macleod Gazette.
Frederick William Haultain was among the most active politicians in the fight to create the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. His political career was marked by his unfailing belief in the Northwest Territories’ right to strong political power, and he worked tirelessly to obtain responsible government.
Haultain’s main challenge was to convince Wilfrid Laurier’s government to make Alberta and Saskatchewan a single province named ‘Buffalo’ and to abolish party lines in the Legislative Assembly.
Haultain’s ideological battles with Wilfrid Laurier meant that he would be overlooked as a possible premier for one of the new provinces. He was head of the opposition in Saskatchewan and leader of the Provincial Rights Party from 1905 to 1912. In 1912, he was named chief justice of the Superior Court of Saskatchewan and in 1917, he sat as chief justice of Saskatchewan’s Court of Appeal. Knighted in 1916, he would also become chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan from 1916 to 1938. Haultain retired from public life in 1938.
Sir Frederick Haultain was born on this day (November 25th), 1857 and passed away on January 30, 1942, in Montreal, Quebec. A provincial government building in Edmonton, an elementary school in Calgary, and a mountain in Jasper National Park are named in his memory. His original law office still stands at the Fort Museum of the NWMP in Fort Macleod, AB.
Image part of the Fort Museum archives.