James Edgar Walker
Jim Walker was born in Vegreville, Alberta. He worked as a manager at the Cockshutt Plow Co. in Brantford before enlisting in the Royal Canadian Army during World War II. He served as a corporal in the electrical and engineering corps from 1942 until his discharge in 1946. Following the war Walker moved to Toronto where, in 1956, he formed James Walker Insurance Ltd. He sold the firm three years later to focus on municipal consulting and his own political career. Jim Walker won his first election in York Centre in June 1962 by approximately 3,000 votes, and never looked back. In the next federal election which took place less than a year later, Walker won by 13,000 votes. In 1965, 1968 and even in 1972 when many Liberals were defeated, Walker was re-elected by wide margins. He was named Chief Government Whip by Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson in 1963. (A government or party whip is someone who is appointed to maintain discipline among, ensure attendance of, and to give necessary information to, members of his party.) He also served as parliamentary secretary to several cabinet ministers over the years. Walker left politics in 1974, and was named a Citizenship Court judge, a role he fulfilled until retiring in 1985. James Edgar Walker, the very popular “servant of the people,” died in April of 1989 at the age of 77.