91 Facts About Joe Clark


Charles Joseph Clark was born on June 5,1939 and is a Canadian businessman, writer, and politician who served as the 16th prime minister of Canada from 1979 to 1980.


Joe Clark won a minority government in the 1979 election, defeating the Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau and ending sixteen years of continuous Liberal rule.


Joe Clark's tenure was brief as the minority government was brought down by a non-confidence vote on his first budget in December 1979.


Joe Clark lost the leadership of the party to Brian Mulroney in 1983.


Joe Clark returned to prominence in 1984 as a senior cabinet minister in Mulroney's cabinet, retiring from politics after not standing for re-election for the House of Commons in 1993.


Joe Clark made a political comeback in 1998 to lead the Progressive Conservatives in their last stand before the party's eventual dissolution, serving his final term in Parliament from 2000 to 2004.


Joe Clark today serves as a university professor and as president of his own consulting firm.


Charles Joseph Clark was born in High River, Alberta, the son of Grace Roselyn and local newspaper publisher Charles A Clark.


Joe Clark attended local schools and the University of Alberta, where he earned a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in political science.


Joe Clark was a member of the University of Alberta Debate Society.


Joe Clark later worked one summer at the Edmonton Journal where he met his future biographer, David L Humphreys.


Joe Clark then worked full-time for the Progressive Conservative Party.


Joe Clark became politically active while at university, although he had been aware from a young age of politics in Canada.


Joe Clark competed with the University of Alberta Debate Society.


Joe Clark served as president of the University of Alberta Young Progressive Conservatives and eventually served as national president for the Young PCs group.


Joe Clark sparred with future political rival Preston Manning in debate forums on campus between the Young PCs and the Youth League of the Alberta Social Credit Party.


Joe Clark encountered another future rival when he met Brian Mulroney at a national Young PCs meeting in 1958.


Joe Clark spent time in France to improve his fluency in the French language and took courses in French while he was living in Ottawa.


Joe Clark eventually became comfortable speaking and answering questions in French.


Joe Clark entered politics at age 28 but was unsuccessful as candidate for the provincial Progressive Conservatives in the 1967 provincial election.


Joe Clark served as a chief assistant to provincial opposition leader and future Premier Peter Lougheed and served in the office of federal opposition leader Robert Stanfield, learning the inner workings of Parliament.


Joe Clark unsuccessfully ran for the Legislative Assembly of Alberta in the 1971 provincial election.


For example, in the lead-up to the 1979 election, the bulk of Joe Clark's riding was merged into the newly created riding of Bow River during a redistribution of ridings.


Joe Clark, who won the Tory leadership at age 36, remains the youngest leader of a major federal party in the history of Canadian politics.


Joe Clark's rapid rise from a relatively unknown Alberta MP to the Leader of the Opposition took much of Canada by surprise.


However, Joe Clark hired experienced staffers such as Lowell Murray, Duncan Edmonds, and William Neville, who shaped his policies and ran his office.


Joe Clark improved his party's standing in national opinion polls.


Joe Clark gradually earned the respect of some political observers, including his own caucus, and benefited when live television came to the House of Commons in 1977.


Some observers noted that Joe Clark, despite being perceived by many people as something of a square, showed biting wit at times while in Opposition.


When Joe Clark undertook a tour of the Middle East in order to show his ability to handle foreign affairs issues, his luggage was lost, and Joe Clark appeared to be uncomfortable with the issues being discussed.


On June 4,1979, the day before his 40th birthday, Joe Clark was sworn in as Canada's youngest prime minister, steering the first Tory government since the defeat of John Diefenbaker in the 1963 election.


Joe Clark managed to lure Socred MP Richard Janelle to the government caucus, but this still left the Tories five seats short of a majority.


Joe Clark however decided that he would govern as if he had a majority, and refused to grant the small Socred official party status, form a coalition, or co-operate with the party in any way.


Joe Clark was unable to accomplish much in office because of the tenuous situation of his minority government.


The Joe Clark government introduced Bill C-15, the Freedom of Information Act, which established a broad right of access to government records, an elaborate scheme of exemptions, and a two-stage review process.


Internationally, Joe Clark represented Canada in June 1979 at the 5th G7 summit in Tokyo.


Joe Clark reportedly had a good relationship with US President Jimmy Carter, who phoned Joe Clark to thank him personally for his role in the Canadian Caper.


The five Socred MPs had demanded the gas tax revenues be allocated to Quebec and abstained when Joe Clark turned them down.


Joe Clark was criticized for his "inability to do math" in failing to predict the outcome, not only because he was in a minority situation, but because three members of his caucus would be absent for the crucial budget vote.


Joe Clark chose Julien Chouinard to be appointed as a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada by the Governor General, who served from September 24,1979, to February 6,1987.


Trudeau commented in his memoirs, published in 1993, that Joe Clark was much more tough and aggressive than past Tory leader Robert Stanfield, noting that those qualities served Joe Clark well in his party winning the 1979 election victory.


Opposition to Joe Clark's leadership began to grow after the fall of the PC minority government, and the party's defeat by a resurgent Liberal Party.


However, Joe Clark was unable to stay on as Progressive Conservative leader long enough to regain the Prime Ministership.


Joe Clark immediately nominated to keep his leader's post, and retained support from most of the Red Tories and other party members who were opposed to the public attacks on his leadership by others in the party.


Joe Clark already had most of a campaign team up and running by the time he called the leadership convention, as he had mobilized support to help gain in the convention's leadership review.


Joe Clark's campaign countered this by trying to polarize the election between right wingers and a centrist who had been able to win before.


Joe Clark urged his supporters to leave the convention united behind Mulroney, and agreed to serve under him.


Joe Clark was convinced that he could win another leadership race and gain a clear level of support, once his qualities were compared against the handful of politically inexperienced challengers who coveted his position and who were covertly undermining his leadership.


Joe Clark took on the difficult Constitution ministerial portfolio after the failure of the Meech Lake Accord, and vigorously pursued his task.


Joe Clark maintained Canada's independent voice politically and socially at a time of increasing economic integration with the US and the rise of more socially conservative right-wing politics there.


Joe Clark later served as the President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada.


Joe Clark retired from politics in 1993, side-stepping the near annihilation of the PC party in the 1993 election under the leadership of Mulroney's successor Kim Campbell.


Joe Clark was appointed as Special Representative to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Cyprus from 1993 to 1996.


Joe Clark has served on the boards of directors or advisory boards of several Canadian companies.


Joe Clark was elected by a teleconference of PC members from around the country in which each of the party's riding associations was allocated 100 points.


Joe Clark defeated Hugh Segal, free-trade opponent David Orchard, former Manitoba cabinet minister Brian Pallister, and future Senator Michael Fortier for the leadership of the PC Party.


Joe Clark ran on his previous experience as Prime Minister and External Affairs Minister.


However, Joe Clark was judged by audiences to be the best speaker during the 2000 election debates.


Joe Clark continually promoted the idea that the PCs would eventually retake Ontario and form a federal government again.


Joe Clark soon realized that there was no chance of dislodging the Liberals as long as the centre-right remained split.


Joe Clark got his chance in 2001, when several dissident Alliance MPs, the most prominent one being Alliance deputy leader and party matriarch Deborah Grey, left the Alliance caucus.


Harper wanted a closer union with the PCs, but Joe Clark turned the offer down in April 2002, and all but two of the DRC members rejoined the Alliance.


Joe Clark was selected by the media and many parliamentarians for three years in a row to be Canada's most effective opposition leader between 2000 and 2002, pursuing the Liberal government on issues such as Shawinigate and the Groupaction scandal.


Indeed, Chretien and Joe Clark had been fellow parliamentarians since the 1970s and they shared a mutual respect despite sitting on opposite benches.


Joe Clark was widely trusted by Canadians, but this, in his own words, did not translate into more votes and additional seats.


Joe Clark had always encouraged MacKay to keep Orchard and his followers within the PC camp.


Some critics accused Joe Clark of being more interested in helping the interests of his own party and own career than the Canadian conservative movement in general.


Joe Clark announced that he would continue to sit for the remainder of the session as an independent Progressive Conservative MP, and retired from Parliament at the end of the session.


Later, Joe Clark openly criticized the new Conservative Party in the run-up to the 2004 election.


Joe Clark gave a tepid endorsement to the Liberal Party in the 2004 election, calling Paul Martin "the devil we know".


Joe Clark criticized the new Conservative Party as an "Alliance take-over", and speculated that eastern Canada would not accept the new party or its more socially conservative policies against gay marriage and abortion.


Joe Clark endorsed former NDP leader Ed Broadbent and other Liberals and Conservatives as individuals, saying that the most important thing was to have "the strongest possible House of Commons of Canada" since neither large party offered much hope.


Joe Clark was criticized by some for dismissing the new Conservative Party outright rather than helping to steer it towards a moderate path.


Joe Clark served as Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.


Joe Clark served as Distinguished Statesman in Residence, School of International Service, and Senior Fellow, Center for North American Studies, both at the American University, Washington, DC In addition to teaching classes at the American University in Washington, Clark has written several op-ed pieces for several of Canada's national newspapers since his retirement.


In October 2006, Joe Clark took a position at McGill University as a Professor of Practice for Public-Private Sector Partnerships at the McGill Institute for the Study of International Development.


Joe Clark serves with the Jimmy Carter Center, routinely travelling overseas as part of the centre's international observing activities.


Joe Clark is vice-chairman and a Member of the Global Leadership Foundation, an organization that works to support democratic leadership, prevent and resolve conflict through mediation and promote good governance in the form of democratic institutions, open markets, human rights and the rule of law.


Joe Clark is a member of Washington DC based think tank the Inter-American Dialogue.


Joe Clark sat on the International Advisory Board of Governors of the Centre for International Governance Innovation, before 2012.


Joe Clark was attacked while walking down the street in Montreal in mid-November 2007.


The attacker first asked him if he was the former prime minister, and when Joe Clark answered that he was, the man struck him and fled.


Joe Clark sustained a bloody nose but was not seriously hurt.


Joe Clark published the book How We Lead: Canada in a Century of Change in 2013.


Joe Clark travelled to Algeria, Bahrain, Qatar and Egypt in an effort to seek votes for Canada.


Joe Clark is a member of the Alberta Order of Excellence.


Joe Clark was honoured as Commandeur de l'Ordre de la Pleiade from La Francophonie.


Joe Clark holds the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal, 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal, Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Alberta Centennial Medal.


Joe Clark is Honorary Chief Bald Eagle of the Samson Cree Nation.


Joe Clark was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada on October 19,1994.


Joe Clark has earned the admiration of all Canadians as one of our country's most respected statesmen.