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The Man from High River, Alberta

The Story


"[Joe] Clark's style is to have no style," wrote Sandra Gwyn in a 1976 profile titled Joe Who? Gwyn highlighted the Progressive Conservative leader's thoughtfulness and seemed almost surprised at his congeniality. In this CBC Television interview, a relaxed and confident Clark vows to secure the French vote and dismisses talk of a "doomsday scenario," drummed up by his detractors, of his potentially inept leadership. 

Medium: Television
Program: Newsmagazine
Broadcast Date: Jan. 8, 1979
Guest(s): Joe Clark
Host: Peter Mansbridge, Don McNeill, Knowlton Nash
Duration: 2:51

Did You know?


• Joe Clark criticized the high inflation and unemployment plaguing the country and vowed to reduce taxes and government spending. Clark's Conservatives narrowly defeated Pierre Trudeau's Liberals claiming 136 seats over 114.

• Clark took office in June 1979 but by December of the same year he was already facing a crisis. When the Conservatives tried to pass a bill demanding an 18 cent increase in gasoline taxes, the House of Commons passed a motion of no-confidence. Parliament was dissolved and another federal election was called. Trudeau subsequently defeated Clark in the 1980 election.

• Charles Joseph Clark was born on June 5, 1939 in High River, Alta. He became Canada's first prime minister born in the West. Clark was also the youngest prime minister to take office when he won the 1979 election just one month shy of his 40th birthday.
• In 1973 Clark married Maureen McTeer. They had one daughter, Catherine.
• "We will not take this nation by storm, by stealth or by surprise. We will win it by work." — Joe Clark, February 1976.


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