23rd Premier of British Columbia. A member of the British Columbia Liberal Party, he served in this position from December 1941 until December 1949. Born in
Mohill, County Leitrim, Ireland, his father was a farmer. In 1898 he emigrated to Victoria, British Columbia and established a financial firm. In 1916 he entered politics and was elected to the British Columbia Legislature from Victoria City, serving as Minister of Finance. In June 1924 he left office to run his business but returned to the Legislature in November 1933, representing New Westminster, and became Minister of Finance again. In December 1941 he became Premier, replacing Thomas Dufferin Pattullo who was unwilling to form a coalition government with the Conservative Party who had won a majority in the 1941 general election. His government was re-elected in the 1945 general election and he focused his efforts on rural electrification, hydroelectric and highway construction, including the construction of Highway 97 in the northern part of the province and the reestablishment of the Bridge River Power Project, the first major hydroelectric development in the province. He retired as Prime Minister in December 1947 and was replaced by Byron Ingemar "Boss" Johnson. Two years later, he retired from his seat in the Legislature and returned to his business efforts. He died at the age of 78. The John Hart Highway (British Columbia Highway 97) that runs between Prince George and Dawson Creek is named in his honor.
Bio by: William Bjornstad
Harriet Cotsford Mackay Hart