Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
John C. Bowen
Born in Metcalfe, Ontario , the son of Peter Bowen and Margaret Poaps, he grew up in Ottawa, Ontario. After a career in the insurance business Bowen entered politics serving first as an alderman in Edmonton during the 1920s. He ran for mayor in 1928 but was defeated. In 1921 he was elected to the provincial legislative assembly as a Liberal MLA and became House Leader but was defeated in the 1926 provincial election.
In 1937 he was appointed, by William Lyon Mackenzie King, Lieutenant-Governor of the province, two years after the Social Credit came to power under William Aberhart. He became involved in a constitutional crisis when he refused to give Royal Assent to three government bills. Two of the bills would have put the province's banks under the control of the provincial government while a third, the Accurate News and Information Act, would have forced newspapers to print government rebuttals to stories the provincial cabinet objected to. All three bills were later declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
In 1938, Bowen even threatened to dismiss Aberhart's government, which would have been an extraordinary use of his reserve powers. The Social Credit government remained immensely popular with the Albertan people, however, so the threat was not carried out.
He was reappointed for a second term and continued to serve as Lieutenant-Governor until 1950.
On October 25, 1906, he married Edith Oliver. They had two daughters: Margaret Gwendolyn and Emma Ruth.
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