Today in Canada's Political History - May 2, 2009: Michael Ignatieff elected federal Liberal leader

Federal Liberals officially had a new leader on this date in 2009. Academic Michael Ignatieff, who had only entered politics with his election as a Liberal MP only three years before, was at the time considered the great hope for federal Grits after the internal divisions of the Martin-Chretien years. Despite these expectations, Ignatieff led his party to one of their worst-ever defeats when they slipped to third place after the 2011 federal election. He returned to the academic world soon after.

Arthur Milnes is an accomplished public historian and award-winning journalist. He was research assistant on The Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney’s best-selling Memoirs and also served as a speechwriter to then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper and as a Fellow of the Queen’s Centre for the Study of Democracy under the leadership of Tom Axworthy. A resident of Kingston, Ontario, Milnes serves as the in-house historian at the 175 year-old Frontenac Club Hotel.