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Joe Clark

Clark, Joe (Charles Joseph Clark), 1939–, prime minister of Canada (1979–80), b. High River, Alta. He entered the Canadian House of Commons from Alberta in 1972 and became leader of the Progressive Conservative party in 1976. In the 1979 elections he led his party to victory and briefly replaced Pierre Trudeau as prime minister. His election represented the new political importance of W Canada, especially oil-rich Alberta. Brian Mulroney replaced him as party leader in 1983. Clark served as external affairs minister (1984–91) and constitutional affairs minister (1991–93) under Mulroney. Clark left politics in 1993; UN Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali appointed him special UN representative for Cyprus. In 1998, Clark again became leader of the Progressive Conservatives, who faced a strong challenge on the right from the Reform party (later the Canadian Alliance), and in 2000 he was elected to parliament from Nova Scotia. Clark resigned as party leader in 2003, and became an independent later that year when the party joined the Canadian Alliance to form the Conservative party of Canada. He retired in 2004. His How We Lead: Canada in a Century of Change (2013) criticizes the Harper government and calls for a more internationally active Canada.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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