Foster, Sir George Eulas

Sir George Eulas Foster, politician (b in Carleton County, NB 3 Sept 1847; d at Ottawa 30 Dec 1931). Educated at the University of New Brunswick, he became professor of classics there, 1873. Elected to the Commons as member for Kings in 1882, he was appointed minister of marine and fisheries (1885) in the MACDONALD government. In 1888 he took over finance, a portfolio he kept through the succeeding prime ministerships of ABBOTT, THOMPSON, BOWELL and TUPPER. A leading member of the Conservative Opposition, he joined the BORDEN government as minister of trade and commerce in 1911. He was a Canadian delegate to the 1919 peace conference and was appointed to the Senate in 1921.

Foster was intelligent, able and hardworking. Borden also found him remarkable for lack of tact, for having an incredibly messy office - where Cabinet papers could disappear - and a penchant for extending his jurisdiction in every direction. Though never greatly loved, Foster was respected for his rigorous administrative abilities.