C.D. Howe

C.D. Howe




Class of 1987

C.D Howe, professional engineer, entrepreneur and politician. He propelled Canada into a world class industrial nation.

Howe was born in Massachusetts and in 1907 graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He relocated to Canada to become Dalhousie University’s first professor of civil engineering. A brief stint in Winnipeg, as Chief Engineer with the Board of Grain Commissioners, preceded Howe’s move to Port Arthur, Ontario. It was there he established what would become a worldwide design engineering firm, C.D. Howe and Company.

In 1934, as a Member of Parliament, he served with Prime Minister MacKenzie King. Direct and abrasive, the “most unlikely” politician became known as the “Minister of Everything.” How was responsible for creating Canada’s first Crown corporations including: Canadian National Railways, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and, in 1937, Trans Canada Airlines. During World War II Howe surrounded himself with businessmen, dubbed “Howe’s boys,” and together they industrialized Canada to supply the Allies.

Howe ended his 23-year political career in 1957 when the TransCanada Pipeline debate brought down the Government. He moved to Montreal and accepted the position of Chairman, Ogilvie Flour Mills. His contribution to business continued through several directorships.

Howe died in 1970. He is remembered most as the man who, through his determination to get things done against all odds, systematically pulled Canada together.

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