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William Stevens Fielding

Fielding, William Stevens, 1848–1929, Canadian statesman, b. Halifax, N.S. A newspaper editor in Halifax, he entered the provincial legislature in 1882 and was provincial prime minister (1884–96). He then entered the House of Commons, and for 15 years (1896–1911) he was Wilfrid Laurier's minister of finance. As a tariff expert, Fielding helped to negotiate the reciprocal trade treaty with the United States in 1911 that resulted in the fall of Laurier's government. Favoring military conscription for Canada in World War I, he parted with Laurier on the issue and supported Sir Robert Borden's Union government. After the war he returned to the Liberal party, and in Mackenzie King's cabinet he again served (1921–25) as minister of finance.

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

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Canadian History: Biographies

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