Erik Nielsen

Erik Nielsen

Infobox CanadianMP
name=Erik Hersholt Nielsen

birth_date= birth date|1924|2|24|df=yes
birth_place=Regina, Saskatchewan
death_date=death date and age|2008|9|4|1924|2|24|df=yes
death_place=Kelowna, British Columbia
party=Progressive Conservative
party colour=PC
predecessor=James Aubrey Simmons
successor=Audrey McLaughlin
spouse= Pamela June Nielsen (-1969)
Shelley Nielsen (1983-2008)

Erik Hersholt Nielsen, DFC, QC, PC (February 24 1924 – September 4, 2008) was a Canadian politician, and longtime Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament for Yukon.

Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, he was Minister of Public Works in the short-lived government of Prime Minister Joe Clark. After the Tories were defeated in the 1980 election, he served as Opposition House Leader from 1981 until 1983, and engineered the "Bell Ringing Affair" to protest the Liberal government's omnibus energy bill. The business of the Canadian House of Commons ground to a halt for three weeks because the Opposition refused to respond to the bell summoning Members of Parliament to come to the chamber to vote.

Nielsen served as Leader of the Opposition in 1983 between the resignation of Joe Clark and the election of Brian Mulroney as PC leader, and continued to lead the party in the House until Mulroney won a seat in a by-election, at which point Nielsen returned to his previous position as House Leader.

When Mulroney became prime minister, he made Nielsen his deputy prime minister from 1984 to 1986, and President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada from 1984 to 1985. Nielsen was effectively the senior Government House Leader in all but name. He also served as Minister of National Defence from 1985 to 1986.

Nielsen has been called "Yukon Erik," [Jim Lotz, Prime Ministers of Canada, Bison Books, 1987, p. 154] but he has also been called "Velcro lips" for a tight-lipped reticence during his time in office. [Lotz, 150.] The tenaciousness and aggressiveness that made Nielsen a successful Opposition MP made him a liability as a Cabinet minister as he gave the impression of being secretive and disdainful of criticism by the Opposition and the media. His habit of stonewalling questions had the effect of prolonging the shelf life of political scandals in Parliament, and thus hurt the government's reputation. This became most apparent during the Sinclair Stevens conflict-of-interest scandal, in which Mulroney was out of Parliament for two weeks while the opposition barraged Nielsen with questions. Shortly after Mulroney returned, Nielsen and Sinclair were both forced to resign from cabinet in June 1986.

Years afterward, Sheila Copps would remark that the sacking of Nielsen made Mulroney "look decisive", when pointing out the importance of a deputy prime minister in protecting the prime minister from political damage during question period. []

Nielsen resigned his seat in Parliament in January 1987 when he was given the position of chairman of the National Transportation Agency. He withdrew from the public service in 1992 to become president of Solar Engineering, Hawaii Inc. and Solar Electric Engineering Distributors Canada.

One of Nielsen's brothers is actor Leslie Nielsen. The relationship informed the premise of an HBO mockumentary titled "The Canadian Conspiracy", comically alleging a Canadian subversion of the United States through its media.

He wrote a memoir, "The House Is Not a Home" (1989, ISBN 0-7715-9426-7), noted for its bracing directness both about his colleagues and about his own personal life.

He died at his home in Kelowna, BC on September 4, 2008 from a massive heart attack. [ [ Erik Nielsen dies in B.C. at 84] , The Globe and Mail, September 5, 2008.]


External links

* [ Leslie and Erik Nielsen laugh it up] (audio) 1991 Peter Gzowski interview with Leslie and Erik Nielsen

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Erik Nielsen — Erik Hersholt Nielsen, DFC, QC, PC (* 24. Februar 1924 in Regina, Saskatchewan; † 4. September 2008 in Kelowna, British Columbia) war ein kanadischer Politiker. Leben Nielsen war ab 1957 Mitglied des Parlamentes von Yukon und gewann alle… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Erik Nielsen — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Nielsen. Erik Nielsen Hersholt, né le 24 février 1924 à Regina et mort le 4 septembre 2008 à Kelowna, était un homme politique canadien, membre du Parti progressiste conservateur du Canada et… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Poul-Erik Nielsen — (* um 1932) ist ein ehemaliger dänischer Badmintonspieler. Knud Aage Nielsen ist sein jüngerer Bruder. Karriere Poul Erik Nielsen gewann 1955 den Mixed Titel bei den dänischen Einzelmeisterschaften. 1958, 1959 und 1960 siegte er dreimal in Folge… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jørgen Erik Nielsen — Jørgen Erik Nielsen, Dr. Phil. (23 September 1933 ndash; 10 January 2007) was an associate professor at the University of Copenhagen.Nielsen graduated from the University of Copenhagen in 1959. In 1976 he was awarded the Dr. Phil. degree for a… …   Wikipedia

  • Aeropuerto Internacional de Whitehorse Erik Nielsen — Aeropuerto Internacional de Whitehorse IATA: YXY   OACI: CYXY …   Wikipedia Español

  • Niels Erik Nielsen — Not to be confused with his Danish teammate at the 1920 Summer Olympics Niels Kristian Nielsen or with the another Danish gymnast Niels Turin Nielsen Olympic medal record Men s Gymnastics Silver 1920 Antwerp Team, Swedish system Niels Erik… …   Wikipedia

  • Nielsen — ist ein patronymisch gebildeter dänischer Familienname mit der Bedeutung „Sohn des Niels“. Bekannte Namensträger Inhaltsverzeichnis A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Nielsen — Not to be confused with Nielson, Neilson (disambiguation), or Nilsen. Nielsen Danish pronunciation: [ˈnelsn], is a Danish patronymic surname, literally meaning son of Niels, Niels being the Danish version of the Greek male given name… …   Wikipedia

  • Nielsen — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Nielsen Company, une entreprise de marketing Nielsen est un nom de famille notamment porté par : Allan Nielsen (1971 ), ancien footballeur… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Erik Bo Andersen — Pas d image ? Cliquez ici. Biographie Nationalité …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.