William Lyon Mackenzie King, Canada’s longest-serving prime minister, left an indelible mark on the nation during his three non-consecutive terms. His leadership spanned pivotal moments in Canadian history, including the Great Depression and World War II. King’s pragmatic approach and unwavering commitment to national unity helped steer the country through these turbulent times. His social reforms, such as unemployment insurance and family allowances, laid the foundation for the modern Canadian welfare state. However, his legacy is also marked by his reluctance to confront racial injustices and his controversial decision to intern Japanese Canadians during the war.

Listen to the quotes by William Lyon Mackenzie King on this page by clicking on the media play button below (duration – 02:45).

14 Amazing Quotes By Canada’s longest Serving Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King

1. It is what we prevent, rather than what we do that counts most in Government.

2. Once a nation parts with the control of its credit, it matters not who makes the laws.

3. I believed the people had a true instinct in most matters of government when left alone. That they were not swayed, as specially favoured individuals were, by personal interest, but rather by a sense of what best served the common good. That they recognized the truth when it was put before them, and that a leader can guide so long as he kept to the right lines. I did not think it was a mark of leadership to try to make the people do what one wanted them to do.

4. Every hour of useful work is precious.

5. The people of Canada do not wish as a result of mass immigration to make a fundamental alteration in the character of our population. Large scale immigration from the Orient would change the fundamental composition of the Canadian population.

6. I’ve always found that you can control people better if you don’t see too much of them.

7. Government, in the last analysis, is organized opinion. Where there is little or no public opinion, there is likely to be bad government.

8. Far more has been accomplished for the welfare and progress of mankind by preventing bad actions than by doing good ones.

9. Just when we most need to be clearheaded, in order to face the hard facts before us, there is all too frequently a very real inclination to give way to dangerous tendencies merely as an escape from realities.

10. A true man does not only stand up for himself, he stands up for those that do not have the ability to.

11. Usury once in control will wreck the nation.

12. The politician’s promises of yesterday are the taxes of today.

13. Until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most conspicuous and sacred responsibility, all talks of the sovereignty of Parliament and of democracy is idle and futile.

14. From the outset of the war, the Canadian people have clearly shown that it is their desire to help in every way to make Canadas war effort as effective as possible.


William Lyon Mackenzie King‘s political career was defined by his unwavering dedication to national unity and his pragmatic approach to governance. His social reforms and leadership during times of crisis solidified his place as a transformative figure in Canadian history. However, his shortcomings in addressing racial inequalities and his wartime decisions remain subjects of ongoing debate and scrutiny. As Canada continues to evolve and reckon with its past, King’s complex legacy serves as a reminder of the challenges and complexities inherent in leadership and the ongoing pursuit of a more just and equitable society.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 4

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

By Fatima Miller

Fatima is an author who finds beauty in the everyday, transforming ordinary moments into extraordinary tales. Through her writing, Fatima explores the human experience, inviting readers to reflect on their own lives and the world around them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *