Louis-Philippe Brodeur, PC QC baptised Louis-Joseph-Alexandre Brodeur (August 21, 1862 – January 1, 1924) was a Canadian journalist, lawyer, politician, federal Cabinet minister, Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, and puisne justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Life and career
Born in Beloeil, Quebec, he was first elected to the House of Commons of Canada in the 1891 election as Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for Rouville, Quebec. He represented the riding continuously until his retirement prior to the 1911 election.
Brodeur was a firm supporter of Sir Wilfrid Laurier and came from a Rouges family. His father fought in the Lower Canada Rebellion of 1837, and his maternal grandfather was killed in the Rebellion's Battle of Saint-Charles.
As a young man, Brodeur studied law, graduating in 1884 with an LL.B. from the Université Laval. He worked as a young lawyer with Honoré Mercier, before establishing his own law firm of Dandurand and Brodeuer with Raoul Dandurand. He also engaged in journalism for Liberal newspapers such as la Patrie and L'Électeur before becoming editor of Le Soir. He was first elected to the Canadian House of Commons at the age of 29. After the Liberals won the 1896 election, Brodeur was appointed deputy speaker. He became Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada following the 1900 election. He was appointed as a Queen's Counsel in 1899.
In 1904, he was appointed to the Laurier Cabinet as Minister of Inland Revenue where he introduced anti-trust legislation to protect tobacco farmers from the monopolistic practices of the American Tobacco Company.
In 1906, he was promoted to Minister of Marine and Fisheries and reorganized the Montreal Harbours Commission and instituted reforms in the department to reduce patronage and corruption.
In 1910, he became Minister of the Naval Service and was responsible for introducing legislation to create the Canadian Navy. This signified a move towards Canadian independence from Britain. It was opposed by the Conservative Party, which preferred Canada's participation in the British Navy. By the end of his term, the new Navy consisted of 233 sailors and two cruisers, one on each coast. The policy of creating a Canadian Navy was also opposed by French-Canadian nationalists such as Henri Bourassa who feared that the Canadian Navy would only be used as a device to engage Canada in British wars.
Prior to the 1911 election, Brodeur retired from politics and was appointed by Laurier to a seat on the Supreme Court of Canada. He retired from the court in 1923 to accept an appointment as the 13th Lieutenant Governor of Quebec. He died on New Year's Day 1924 in Quebec City.
Louis-Philippe Brodeur married Emma Brillon, daughter of J. R. Brillon, of Belœil, P.Q., in June 1887. Their son, Victor, attained the rank of Rear Admiral in the Royal Canadian Navy. The École Victor-Brodeur in Esquimalt, British Columbia, is named after him. Victor's son Nigel attained the rank of Vice Admiral.