Lapointe, Ernest läpwăNt´ [key], 1876–1941, Canadian political leader, b. Quebec prov. A lawyer, he was from 1904 to 1941 a Liberal member of the Canadian House of Commons. After the death of Wilfrid Laurier in 1919, Lapointe was regarded as the leader of the French Canadian Liberal party. Appointed (1921) minister of marine and fisheries, he negotiated and signed (1923) with the United States a treaty concerning fisheries in the Pacific; this was the first treaty signed by a Canadian acting alone, with full powers from the king. A close friend and adviser of William Lyon Mackenzie King, Lapointe was powerful in the dominion government and was minister of justice from 1924 to 1930 and again from 1935 to 1941; he was also attorney general from 1935 to 1941. A delegate (1922) to the League of Nations, he attended the imperial conferences in London in 1926 and 1937 and firmly supported Canada's entry into World War II, although he opposed conscription.
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