Walter Baker (Canadian politician)
Walter David Baker
|Member of the Canadian Parliament|
October 30, 1972 – November 13, 1983
|Preceded by||Gordon Blair|
|Succeeded by||William Tupper|
|Born||August 22, 1930|
|Died||November 13, 1983 (aged 53)|
|Political party||Progressive Conservative|
|Alma mater||Carleton University|
University of Toronto (Law)
Baker is best known for having been Government House Leader during the short-lived minority government of Joe Clark. He received much of the popular blame for the defeat of the government in a Motion of no confidence on December 13, 1979 with the claim that the government fell because "Walter Baker couldn't count". However, observers pointed out that targeting Baker as the scapegoat was unfair as he was House Leader, not Party Whip. The defeat was the result of the Clark government's decision to alienate the six Social Credit Members of Parliament by refusing to accord them official party status as well as Clark's view that he could "govern as if" he had a majority government.
Baker was first elected to the House of Commons of Canada in the 1972 election as the Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament for Grenville—Carleton (later renamed Nepean—Carleton) and was re-elected in the 1974, 1979 and 1980 elections. He served as both Government House Leader and Minister of National Revenue during the Clark government. He served as Opposition House Leader from 1976 to 1979 and again from 1980 to 1981.
In government, Baker introduced the first ever Access to Information Bill which died on the order paper with the Tory government. However, much of Baker's bill became part of the eventual Access to Information Act that was introduced by Liberal Solicitor-General Francis Fox in 1983 and passed by parliament into law. 
He was one of the founding partners of the law firm Bell Baker LLP located in Ottawa, Ontario.
|1980 Canadian federal election|
|Progressive Conservative||Walter Baker||31,498||53.5||-6.0|
|New Democratic||Alan White||7,187||12.2||-0.5|
|Total valid votes||58,825||100.0|
|1979 Canadian federal election|
|Progressive Conservative||Walter Baker||36,717||59.6|
|New Democratic||Marnie Girvan||7,810||12.7|
|Total valid votes||61,635||100.0|
|Parliament of Canada|
| Member of Parliament for Grenville—Carleton
The electoral district was abolished in 1976.
The electoral district was created in 1976.
| Member of Parliament for Nepean—Carleton