Message of Condolence on the Passing of The Honourable John MacLennan Buchanan, PC, QC, ECNS

Friday, October 4, 2019

Mrs. LeBlanc and I were saddened to learn of the passing of The Honourable John MacLennan Buchanan, PC, QC, ECNS, 20th Premier of the Province of Nova Scotia.  Mr. Buchanan served as premier from 1978 to 1990.

Mr. Buchanan was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia and attended Sydney Academy.  He worked in the Sydney steel mill until he attended Mount Allison University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Certificate in Engineering in 1954.  He later attended Dalhousie Law School and graduated in 1958.  He practiced law and was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 1972.  Mr. Buchanan entered provincial politics in 1967 when he was elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia.  He would win re-election six more times.  In 1969 he was appointed to the Executive Council of Nova Scotia as the Minister of Public Works and Fisheries.  In 1971 he was chosen to become leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and became premier in 1978.  He would lead his party to form three more consecutive governments in subsequent elections.  He was the third premier in Nova Scotia’s history to form four consecutive governments and the fourth longest serving premier.  During his time as premier he championed Acadian and Francophone issues and rights.  He was also one of the serving premiers who participated in the negotiations to repatriate the Canadian Constitution.  He ended his time as premier when he was appointed to the Senate of Canada in September 1990.  He sat in the Senate until his retirement at age 75 in 2006. 

Mr. Buchanan was passionate about his native province and took every opportunity to promote Nova Scotia and literally sing its praises with his heartfelt renditions of Out on the Mira.  He was awarded several honorary degrees by universities in the region in recognition of his dedication and commitment to Nova Scotia.  Mr. Buchanan will be remembered for his life-long service to Nova Scotia and Canada and for his common touch.

Mrs. LeBlanc and I extend our sincere condolences to Mr. Buchanan’s wife Mavis, family and friends on their loss.


The Honourable Arthur J. LeBlanc, ONS, QC
Lieutenant Governor