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Rhodes Trust 120th Anniversary Reunion

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JOHN TURNER

(British Columbia & Magdalen 1949) (7 June 1929 - 19 September 2020)

JOHN TURNER

A decorated athlete, Turner once held the Canadian record for the 100-metre dash and qualified for the 1948 Olympics while a student at the University of British Columbia. 

Turner graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1949, and came to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. After studying law, he went to Paris to work on a doctorate at the Sorbonne.

As justice minister in Pierre Trudeau’s cabinet from 1968 to 1972, Turner proposed a national legal aid system – an issue close to his heart – and created the federal court, among other reforms. 

Turner resumed his legal work and nine years later won the party leadership.

Turner took office on June 30, 1984. Turner’s term as prime minister lasted only 78 days, however he stayed on as the MP for Vancouver Quadra for a few more years, eventually retiring from politics before the 1993 election.

He went back to work as a lawyer, and was named a companion of the Order of Canada in 1994.

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