John Hacker

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John Hacker (1831-1917) was the Moderator of Ontario twice who led his minority Labour Party to what some historians have dubbed "mediocre glory" following the scandal that wrecked the career of Giles Rupert.

Hacker was born in Sault Ste. Marie, New Yorkshire, the younger son of a solicitor. He initially planned on becoming of teacher of history, and did in fact do so for several years before being persuaded to join the nascent Labour Party in 1865. What followed was something of a fluke. Hacker, a genial person with an unassuming air but a good speaking voice, was elected to the Assembly for his Riding in a special by election. This made him initially the first member of his party to achieve such office. Within another five years several others joined him, but he was senior and also he was known to get along with other MPs. Then, the Rupert Scandal broke, giving the Labour Party an influx of influence which lasted for a generation. The Whigs, in order to retain any influence at all, needed to make a coalition with Labour and accept what was in effect junior status. Hacker, the de facto leader of Labour, found himself the Leader of the Opposition and in time Moderator.

The general consensus remains that as Moderator Hacker allowed his Cabinet to run things pretty much as they saw fit, which resulted in a somewhat chaotic series of policies, often with government departments engaging in unbridled turf battles. Towards the end of his second (and last) terms he began to show signs of senility, and in fact he spent his last years in genteel retirement writing memoirs that eventually became incoherent. In time, he required constant medical supervision. Many theorize he in fact suffered from Alzheimer's Disease.


Preceded by:
Sir Plantagenet Anthony

Sir Plantagenet Anthony

Moderator of Ontario
Succeeded by:
Sir Plantagenet Anthony

Sir Plantagenet Anthony

1872 - 1896
1899 - 1905
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