Lloyd Axworthy

From Academic Kids

Lloyd Norman Axworthy, OC, PC (born December 21, 1939, in North Battleford, Saskatchewan) is a Canadian politician. He is best known for having served as Minister of Foreign Affairs under Jean Chrétien. Axworthy is currently President of the University of Winnipeg.

Axworthy was born in Saskatchewan to a family with strong United Church roots. He received his PhD from Princeton University before returning to Canada to teach at the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg.

Axworthy became involved in politics during the 1950s, becoming a member of the Liberal Party after attending a speech by Lester Pearson. He briefly aligned himself with the New Democratic Party (NDP) in the 1960s when Pearson, as federal opposition leader, called for American Bomarc nuclear warheads to be allowed on Canadian soil. He soon returned to the Liberal fold, however, and worked as an executive assistant for John Turner. Axworthy supported Turner's bid to become party leader at the 1968 leadership convention.

Axworthy ran for the party in Winnipeg North Centre in the 1968 election, and finished a surprisingly strong second against veteran NDP Member of Parliament (MP) Stanley Knowles.

Axworthy's first political success came at the provincial level. He first ran for the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba in the 1966 election, placing second to Progressive Conservative Douglas Stanes in St. James. In the 1973 election, he was elected as a Manitoba Liberal in Fort Rouge, a riding that bordered on the one held by party leader Izzy Asper. He was re-elected in the 1977 election, and was the only Liberal in the legislature from 1977 to 1979.

He resigned on April 6 of the latter year to run for the federal House of Commons, and in the 1979 election narrowly defeated former provincial PC leader Sidney Spivak in Winnipeg—Fort Garry.

He was re-elected in the election of 1980, and became a cabinet minister in the government of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. He served first as Minister of Employment and Immigration, and then as Minister of Transport.

In the Liberal defeat in the 1984 election, Axworthy was the only Liberal west of Ontario to be elected. Axworthy played an important role in opposition, forcefully attacking the government of Brian Mulroney. He was an especially vocal critic of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.

When the Liberals returned to power in 1993 under the leadership of Jean Chrétien, Axworthy became one of the most important Cabinet ministers. After the election, he was given responsibility for the vast new Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC), and launched a major overhaul of employment insurance.

Axworthy's true interest was in international relations, and in a 1996 cabinet shuffle, he became Minister of Foreign Affairs. Axworthy excelled in this position, becoming a strong advocate of Canada's tradition of multilateralism. His greatest success was the Ottawa Treaty, an international treaty to ban anti-personnel land mines, for which he was considered for the Nobel Peace Prize. He also campaigned against the use of child soldiers and the international trade in light weapons.

In September, 2000, Axworthy retired from public life and returned to academia, joining the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia. He is also a frequent public speaker on matters relating to international relations. He has published a number of books on this subject, notably Navigating A New World, a book on the uses of "soft power". He has served as a United Nations envoy tasked with resolving the Ethiopia-Eritrea border dispute.

In May of 2004, he was appointed to his current job as president of the University of Winnipeg.

In 2003, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.


  • Navigating a New World
26th Ministry - Government of Jean Chrétien
Cabinet Posts (4)
Preceded by:
André Ouellet
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by:
John Manley
Preceded by:
Minister of Employment and Immigration
styled as<i></small>
Minister of Human Resources Development
Succeeded by:
Doug Young
Preceded by:
Bernard Valcourt
Minister of Employment and Immigration &
Minister of Labour
<i>styled as<i>
Minister of Human Resources Development
Succeeded by:
Himself (E&I);
Lucienne Robillard (Lab.)
Preceded by:
Larry Schneider
Minister of Western Economic Diversification
Succeeded by:
John Manley
23rd Ministry - Government of John Napier Turner
Cabinet Posts (1)
Preceded by:
cont'd from 22nd Min.
Minister of Transport
Succeeded by:
Don Mazankowski
22nd Ministry - Second Government of Pierre Elliott Trudeau
Cabinet Posts (2)
Preceded by:
Jean-Luc Pepin
Minister of Transport
Succeeded by:
cont'd into 23rd Min.
Preceded by:
Ron Atkey
Minister of Employment and Immigration
Succeeded by:
John Roberts

Preceded by:
Inez Trueman
Member of the Legislative Assembly for Fort Rouge
Succeeded by:
June Westbury
Preceded by:
Sidney Spivak.
Member of Parliament for Winnipeg—Fort Garry
Succeeded by:
This electoral district was abolished in 1987
Preceded by:
This electoral district was created in 1987.
Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre
Succeeded by:
Anita Neville

Template:End box


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