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Clyde Wells has extensive experience in politics and law, most notably having served as premier of Newfoundland and Labrador from 1989 to 1996. Mr. Wells began his legal career in 1964. His practice primarily involved corporate, commercial, constitutional and general litigation, including representing the Government of Canada before the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador and before the Supreme Court of Canada in a number of matters involving constitutional issues. In addition to a number of other companies, Mr. Wells served as director of Newfoundland Light & Power Co. Ltd. (now Fortis) from 1978 to 1987 and as board chair from 1985 to 1987. He was first elected to the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly in 1966 and became minister of Labour. In 1971, he left politics and returned to the full-time practice of law. When he re-entered politics in 1987, he became leader of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador, and was elected the fifth premier of the province in 1989, serving until his resignation in 1996, when he returned to the practice of law. In 1998, he was appointed a justice of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, and appointed Chief Justice of the province in 1999, a position he occupied until 2009. He remained as a supernumerary justice of the appellate court until his full retirement from the bench in 2012. Since that time he has been counsel at the Atlantic provinces law firm, Cox and Palmer. In 2016, he was appointed as the chair of the province’s Independent Appointments Commission. Mr. Wells has presented on constitutional issues at various universities, including Memorial University of Newfoundland, Dalhousie University, University of New Brunswick, Harvard University, McGill University, University of Toronto, University of Saskatchewan and University of Calgary, and has addressed numerous gatherings on public policy and historical matters. He received an Honorary LLD from Memorial University in 1996 and the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2016. Clyde Wells graduated from Memorial University with a BA in 1959, and received his LLB from Dalhousie University Law School in 1962. He served from 1961 to 1964 with the Canadian Army, Judge Advocate General’s Office, where he attained the rank of Captain.

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