Humanities › Issues Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden Share Flipboard Email Print Archive Photos / Getty Images Issues Canadian Government The U. S. Government U.S. Foreign Policy U.S. Liberal Politics U.S. Conservative Politics Women's Issues Civil Liberties The Middle East Terrorism Race Relations Immigration Crime & Punishment Animal Rights View More By Susan Munroe Canadian Culture Expert B.A., Political Science, Carleton University Susan Munroe is a public affairs and communications professional based in Canada. our editorial process Susan Munroe Updated October 22, 2019 Prime Minister Robert Borden led Canada through World War I, eventually committing 500,000 troops to the war effort. Robert Borden formed a Union Government of Liberals and Conservatives to implement conscription, but the conscription issue split the country bitterly - with the English supporting sending troops to help Britain and the French adamantly opposed. Robert Borden also led in achieving Dominion status for Canada and was instrumental in the transition from the British Empire to the British Commonwealth of Nations. At the end of World War I, Canada ratified the Treaty of Versailles and joined the League of Nations as an independent nation. Highlights as Prime Minister Emergency War Measures Act of 1914Wartime Business Profits Tax of 1917 and the "temporary" Income Tax, the first direct taxation by the Canadian federal governmentVeterans benefitsNationalization of bankrupt railwaysIntroduction of a professional public service Birth June 26, 1854, in Grand Pré, Nova Scotia Death June 10, 1937, in Ottawa, Ontario Professional Career Teacher 1868 to 1874Lawyer in Halifax, Nova ScotiaChancellor, Queen's University 1924 to 1930President, Crown Life Insurance 1928President, Barclay's Bank Canada 1929President, Canadian Historical Association 1930 Political Affiliation ConservativeUnionist 1917 to 1920 Ridings (Electoral Districts) Halifax 1896 to 1904, 1908 to 1917Carleton 1905 to 1908King's County 1917 to 1920 Political Career Robert Borden was first elected to the House of Commons in 1896.He was elected Leader of the Conservative Party in 1901 and was Leader of the Opposition from 1901 to 1911.Robert Borden led the Conservatives to victory in the 1911 general election on a platform against reciprocity or free trade with the United States, defeating Sir Wilfrid Laurier and the Liberals.Robert Borden was sworn in as Prime Minister of Canada in 1911.He also served as President of the Privy Council from 1911 to 1917, and as Secretary of State for External Affairs from 1912 to 1920.In order to implement conscription, Robert Borden formed a coalition Union government with many Liberals. The Union government won the 1917 election but had only three Quebec members.Robert Borden retired as Prime Minister of Canada in 1920. Arthur Meighen became the next Prime Minister of Canada.