Alberta Premiers of the Twentieth Century by Bradford J. Bradford J.

By Bradford J. Bradford J.

;From the optimism linked to provincial prestige in 1905, throughout the trials of melancholy and struggle, the increase instances of the post-war interval, and the commercial vagaries of the Nineteen Eighties and the Nineties, the 20th century was once a time of progress and worry, improvement and alter, for Alberta and its humans. and through the century, twelve males, from numerous political events and from very diversified backgrounds, led the govt. of this province.

The names of some--like William Aberhart, Ernest Manning, and Peter Lougheed--are nonetheless loved ones names, whereas others--like Arthur Sifton, Herbert Greenfield and Richard Reid--have been all yet forgotten. but each one in his certain means, for greater or for worse, helped to mold and steer the future of the province he ruled. those are their

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Babcock, Alexander Cameron Rutherford, chapter 6, “Achnacarry: Rutherford’s House,” 93–128. 49. Thomas, The Liberal Party, 131–33; Babcock, Alexander Cameron Rutherford, 134–35. 18 Alexander Rutherford A l b e r TA P r e m I e r s of The 20 Th C e n T u ry Arthur l. sifton, 1910–1917 Introduction While supporting a Cabinet colleague during the Medicine Hat by-election of June 1910, the new Premier of Alberta sat in a club regaling his cronies with stories from his past as a lawyer and judge. One involved “an old professional juryman named Pete,” a favourite of prosecuting attorneys because he invariably found the defendant guilty.

Sifton—Arthur L. 8 Sifton did record the essence of each case that he heard along with his decision. Rarely did he offer reasons for the decisions, which created some difficulties when cases were appealed. Not often, however, were his rulings overturned on appeal. Well known for the sort of instant decision noted above, he saw the law in severely practical terms. In the early years, his most common cases involved charges of horse or cattle theft; typically he sentenced cattle rustlers to three years’ hard labour.

In Canada most successful politicians of Sifton’s era were, at best, reluctant reformers capitulating to popular pressure. They tended to be social conservatives, not radicals. The temperance forces produced a petition in October 1914 asking for a prohibitory liquor act. It was signed by over 23,600 people, more than enough to trigger a referendum under the Direct Legislation Act. A week later Sifton moved, without discussion, that the issue be put to the people. 35 In 1916 the Sifton government passed legislation to prohibit “the sale of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes,” though it did not prevent either the production of liquor within the province or its export.

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