William Stevens Fielding - Encyclopedia




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WILLIAM STEVENS FIELDING (1848-), Canadian journalist and statesman, was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the 24th of November 1848. From 1864 to 1884 he was one of the staff of the Morning Chronicle, the chief Liberal paper of the province, and worked at all departments of newspaper life. In 1882 he entered the local legislature as Liberal member for Halifax, and from 1884 to 1896 was premier and provincial secretary of the province, but in the latter year became finance minister in the Dominion administration of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, and was elected to the House of Commons for Shelburne and Queen's county. He opposed Confederation in 1864-1867, and as late as 1886 won a provincial election on the promise to advocate the repeal of the British North America Act. His administration as finance minister of Canada was important, since in 1897 he introduced a new tariff, granting to the manufactures of Great Britain a preference, subsequently increased; and later he imposed a special surtax on German imports owing to unfriendly tariff legislation by that country. In 1902 he represented Canada at the Colonial Conference in London.

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