by Eugene W. Plawiuk

Presentation for Edmonton's Bicentennial:
Historical Reflections Symposium,
May 1995



The term progress when it is used to describe municipal development is most often equated with businessmen and 'colorful' individual civic leaders. Certainly Edmonton, as it developed in the later 1890's until the First World War, abounded with 'civic minded' businessmen such as Alex Taylor, J.B. Little, and Donald Ross.

All too often civic progress has been equated with a city's thriving businesses and their owners. The role of the common man or woman is often overlooked in the biography of a city. Progress to the people who work and live in a city like Edmonton, means more than just being a 'company town'.

Edmonton's development, in the later half of the 19th century and the first twenty years of this century, were made possible by faith in capitalism and the opportunities it afforded the individual entrepreneur. We would not however be wrong to describe the forty years between 1919 and 1960 as Labour's era that defined 'progress' as being the expansion of civic democracy.

Working people won increased rights, such as the eight hour day, union recognition, public education, the right to vote without owning property (tenants rights in the city), by struggling in the workplace, in the streets and through the ballot box. Many of these workers were new immigrants to Canada and the west. They often spoke different languages than the dominant class of older Edmontonians and, even those who originiated in the British Commonwealth, were far more radical than their forebearers. The labour movement in Edmonton reflected the diversity of these newcomers, from the most radical and revolutionary elements to those whose aspirations were merely to 'reform' the system.

Business flourished through-out this era, so did a social democracy that gave the city a unique quality. Labour and business were both represented in City Hall, so that the vision of the city's progress was not limited to only the interests of the city's business class but of all its citizens.

Unlike other cities in Western Canada, Edmonton owned its own power, water, telephone and transit companies. These forms of municipal ownership were embraced by business and labour as being vital for the progress of the city during this era.

Labour has been politically and socially active in Edmonton since the founding of the Edmonton Trades & Labour Council in 1903 (though it was not chartered until 1906 by the American Federation of Labour) and the Alberta Federation of Labour in 1912.


Labours voice was first heard on City council in 1907 with the election of Alderman WILFRID GARIEPY. He later ran as a Liberal and won a seat as a MLA from 1913-1921. Gariepy originally from Montreal moved back to Quebec and would later run and win a seat in the House of Commons as the Liberal-Labour candidate for Three Rivers, Quebec. It was common at this time for trade union candidates to run for the Conservative or Liberals as "Labour" candidates. Only B.C. had a legislature which had a socialist party elected by and for Labour. The Socialist Party of Canada (SPC), held the balance of power in Victoria under a Liberal Minority Government.

The Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) was formed in 1912 it represented the Labour councils in Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat as well as affiliated union locals that belonged to the American Federation of Labour and the Canadian Trades and Labour Congress. Edmonton and the City of Strathcona merged, council was expanded by two members. Tenants who rented were given the right to vote in municipal elections.

In 1912 JAMES EAST began the first of his three terms as a Labour Alderman on City Council. Born in Ontario in 1871, by the age of 13 he was already working on local farms and at a sawmill. He spent the ensuing years as a prospector in Canada, the U.S., New Zealand and Australia. As a trade union activist and single-tax advocate, he ran repeatedly though unsuccessfully for MLA and MP as a Labour candidate. He was however successful at getting elected as an Edmonton Alderman.

East remained an Alderman until 1914 when he joined up for W.W.I with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces as a medic. After his return when he ran again he was elected in 1920 and held his seat till 1929. Later he would run again and be elected for the years 1933 to 1936.

In 1914 J.A. KINNEY was elected to council, as a Labour candidate. Kinney was past president of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and an executive member of the Edmonton Trades & Labour Council (ET&LC). Kinney held office for six years. Kinney was the first president of the ET&LC after it received its charter in 1906 from the American Federation of Labour. He went on to become the first Chairman of the Workman's Compensation Board under the United Farmers of Alberta government in 1921. Kinney was the first ET&LC executive board member to sit as an Alderman in Edmonton.

The Labour Aldermen were joined by RICE SHEPPARD who was an Executive member of the United Farmers of Alberta. The UFA and the Labour Party candidates were on a common course, and their alliance would grow over these years. Rice Sheppard acted as the voice of Farmers around the Edmonton and Strathcona districts. He remained on the UFA Executive Board for 21 years and on city council for 20 years!!


1919 was a pivotal year for Labour in Edmonton. Unionization had grown, despite the recessions and the war. The Edmonton Trades & Labour Council represented 45 active union locals, including the city police and firemen. The city ran its own public utilities as well as street car service.

ELMER ROPER had moved from Calgary to Edmonton. He had been active with the Calgary Trades & Labour Council and active in the Typographers union. His move to Edmonton saw him working for the Edmonton Bulletin both as a typographer and a regular columnist on Labour Council issues. He would eventually open up his own printing business.

He was elected Recording Secretary of the Alberta Federation of Labour. In his capacity as both Recording Secretary and a printer he helped launch Alberta's first Labour Newspaper; the weekly Edmonton Free Press. The Free Press would become the official voice of the AFL and would be known as the Alberta Labour News. Roper kept the paper going through many incarnations and name changes before it finally ceased publication in the 1950's as the Progressive.

The Edmonton Journal also ran regular weekly reports from the Labour Council usually written by the Rev. F.W. Mercer. The press of the day was full of stories about the Armistice with Germany. In editorials and front page stories the press railed against the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, denouncing radical unions and alien workers, infected with Bolshevik ideas. The government and the editorialists agreed that the solution to stopping radical ideas was to deport foreigners; especially Hutterites, Mennonites, Dukhbours and those damn radicals in the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

The Mathers Royal Commission on Industrial Relations was going across Canada trying to fathom the unprecedented series of strikes, from Nova Scotia to Victoria, that had been happening since January. Many of these strikes were short lived, but as soon as one was resolved another would spring up. They affected all industries and all levels of society. Miners struck in Nova Scotia and on both sides of the Rockies. Street Car workers in Toronto and Windsor went on strike. Even housemaids held a week long strike. The issues were the same; workers wanted an eight hour day, one day off in seven, and recognition of their unions.

When the Commission stopped in Edmonton, worker's grievances were raised not only by Alfred Farmilo of the ET & LC and the Rev. F. W. Mercer (a labour writer for the Edmonton Journal and self professed 'guild socialist') but also by MAYOR JOE CLARKE. Clarke issued a set of 29 complaints to the commission including demands against profiteering, decrying unemployment, and defending workers' rights to collective bargaining, the eight hour day, price controls and workers' rights to run and hold public office.

While Clarke was not elected as a 'Labour' candidate, he relied heavily for support from working class voters, especially in the districts of Norwood and Beverly. This support was crucial to his role as arbitrator during the 1919 General Strike in Edmonton.

The Edmonton strike lasted over a month, and was held in sympathy with the General Strike in Winnipeg. Demands across the prairies were the same and had been outlined by Mayor Clarke to the Mather Commission. Two of the crucial ones were the eight hour working day and union recognition by companies.

The Edmonton Journal and Bulletin, along with a majority of city aldermen, were certain that Edmonton workers would not go out on strike. They were shocked when in May of 1919 the majority of the city's unionized workers voted to support the Winnipeg strikers. Mayor Clarke and Alderman Kinney weren't, they had warned the Aldermen that the strike could last a long time, depending on the situation in Winnipeg.

The city was effectively shut down, with limited utility and street car service. Even non-union workers struck shutting down laundries and restaurants. The city was in effect being run by Mayor Clarke and the Strike Committee. Unlike Winnipeg the local press was allowed to publish and theaters were also open. The strike committee allowed unionized projectionists to show films to the public and strikers to keep them entertained during the strike.

Mayor Clarke refused to give in to demands that strikebreakers be allowed to get the city running. The Board of Trade and Alderman Grant pushed the mayor hard, as did the two city papers, claiming he had succumbed to 'soviet power ' of the ET&LC. In Calgary the Board of Trade had mounted an effective strike breaking committee of local businessmen, with the endorsement of that city's Mayor and Council. Such was not to be the case in Edmonton. Clarke, Kinney and the Strike committee of the ET&LC, which included later aldermen and Mayors; Farmilo, Roper and Knott, negotiated which services would be provided with the approval of the ET&LC strike committee. This tactic by Clarke, allowed him to avoid the horrendous outcome that had happened in Winnipeg. That city fell under martial law and it's citizens committee took vigilante reprisals against the Winnipeg strikers.

Though the strike ended peacefully in Edmonton, Clarke would lose his seat the next year due to a concerted effort of the board of trade and the two local papers. The ET&LC on the other hand had been baptized in the real-politick of running a city for two months. The ET&LC executive had been forced into action by the more radical members of Alberta's trade union movement, in particular those belonging to the Socialist Party of Canada and the One Big Union (OBU). In order to maintain control of the ET&LC as well as to maintain their positions in the community, executive members like Dan Knott and Alf Farmilo along with Free Press 'editor' Roper provided a more conservative and moderate leadership that could be appealed to by Mayor Clarke and in turn could deliver on their promises to control the Strike committee and its more radical element.

Labour in Edmonton had learned its political lessons well and pushed forward to have more labour council representatives elected to City Council and as School Trustees and Hospital Board members. The Mayors office was a prize that they saw could be theirs. Labour had run the city for over a month, why not on a more permanent basis? By directing their efforts into municipal politics the ET&LC executive saw a way of getting around the radical political agenda of the OBU and the Socialist Party militants in the labour movement. Edmonton's Socialist Party activists; Carl Berg and Joseph Knight, put their efforts into building the OBU in hopes of creating a socialist workers movement capable of revolution.

Farmilo, Roper, Kinney, Knott and the other ET&LC executive looked to provincial and municipal politics as being a way of reforming the system in the interests of labour. They weren't interested in overthrowing the government, on the contrary they wanted to become the government. The Twenties would see labour gain a majority of seats on city council and the coveted Mayors chair.


ET&LC Executive member, and a Strike committee representative, DAN KNOTT joined East and Sheppard as a voice for Labour on City Council in 1922. This gave labour three out of eleven votes. With Knott as Alderman, and a School Board Trustee, the Edmonton Trades & Labour Council continued being the 'official voice of Labour' on City Council. Knott was the second executive member of the ET&LC to elected but he would not be the last!

The Canadian Labour Party was founded in the same year. Alf Farmilo and Elmer Roper from Edmonton and Alex Ross from Calgary were elected to the CLP executive thus giving a unified provincial voice for labour. The fledgling party had just made its first political gain with Knott in office.

In 1924 LIONEL GIBBS began his career as a Labour Party politician by joining Knott, East and Sheppard on council. An architect by trade and a teacher by vocation with the Edmonton Technical School, Gibbs spent ten years on council. While at the same time he sat twice in the Alberta Legislature as a Labour Party MLA, in 1926 and again in 1930.

The Labour Party and the UFA held the majority of Government seats in the Alberta Legislature. Labour Party politicians were even then using city council as a jumping off spot for legislative seats with a possible cabinet position in the UFA government. Labour had learnt lessons from the Socialist Party of Canada in B.C.. The Socialist Party experience of gaining workers legislation was at the forefront in Labours mind when it contested in electoral politics. Enthusiasm and optimism were the spirit of both the UFA and the Labour Party organizers. Labour had a world to win!! The fragmentation of the Socialist Party into a variety of splinter groups and the failure of the OBU to successfully challenge to power of the American Federation of Labour in Canada, left a political vacuum to be filled. The Canadian Trades and Labour Congress, the Alberta Federation of Labour and the fledgling Canadian Labour Party stepped in to fill that void, with a program that was radical but not revolutionary. Public Ownership of utilities and railroads, a cooperative commonwealth of producers and workers, free public education, these were long standing labour demands, and were becoming more and more possible in the aftermath of the recession that had followed World War I. Edmonton already controlled it's own phone, utility and street car companies. Public Ownership was a fact in Edmonton, as was political suffrage for workers and growing public education for working class families.

In 1925 Labour had reason to be optimistic ALFRED (Alf) FARMILO was elected as alderman giving Labour control of 50% of the seats on city council. The successes of the UFA in becoming the provincial government gave labour hope for further advances in Edmonton at the municipal level.

Farmilo was one of Edmonton's foremost Labour leaders and advocate's for a Labour Party. He was longest serving secretary of the Labour Council, a position he held for 30 years. He had served as an organizer for the Canadian Trades and Labour Congress and the American Federation of Labour. He helped found the Provincial AFL and the ET&LC. He was President and later Secretary for the AFL. He was a founding member of the Labour Party and its Vice President. He was active in seeing the Labour Party & UFA develop a common program for reforming the government for the betterment of workers and farmers. He served for only four years as Alderman. This was one of the shortest terms that for a Labour Party municipal politician.

Farmilo went on to be the Secretary of the Civil Service Association of Alberta (Alberta Union of Provincial Employee's predecessor). He was appointed Commissioner of the Workers Compensation Board from 1941 to 1955. He also sat on the board of the Royal Alexandra Hospital for thirty years. A fitting role for a stonemason who had cut the cornerstone for that very hospital. Farmilo also cut and set the stones and marble for the Legislature, old Court House, Tegler Building, and MacKay Ave. School.

Labour and the United Farmers of Alberta had much to be positive about in the twenties. Having come through a depression at the end of W.W.I, prices had leveled off and wages were increasing. Farmers were finally able to expand their farms. Municipal workers in Edmonton had formed their first union later to become CUPE Local 30. The going had been tough in Alberta, labour organizing had not been easy, there had been many strikes that had been lost as workers organized for a first contract. These losses were offset by a labour movement that had become increasingly political. By 1928 Labour held the majority of seats on city council with Aldermanic representation by East, Gibbs, Farmilo, Findlay and Sheppard. As the twenties ended and Labour was gaining more seats on City Council, the School Board and in the provincial legislature storm clouds loomed on the horizon that signaled the coming confrontation between communists and social democrats.


The Depression had hit Alberta particularly hard and it created a crisis in the Labour movement. The UFA with Labour support was the provincial government and by 1932 Edmonton had a Labour Mayor; Dan Knott and a majority of Labour Aldermen on City Council. Yet Alberta was faced with massive unemployment, farmers had lost their farms and workers were out of work and traveling to find any at all.

It wasn't that Labour was unused to struggle. The recession of the twenties only hardened trade unionists who had faced an up hill struggle of strikes and organizing drives since the 1919 General Strike. Even in the midst of the economic backlash of the recession, and business resistance to unionization, Labour struggled to gain victories both in the workplace and at the ballot box.

Labours victory at the ballot box, in the face of the depression was hollow at worst and pyrrhic at best. In 1929 the social-democrats; Roper, Farmilo & Ross purged the radical socialists and Communists from membership in the Labour Party.

By 1932 the Labour Party had merged with the newly established Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). The majority of leadership for the Labour Party came from the AFL and the Edmonton and Calgary Labour Councils. Elmer Roper, Harry Ainley and other CCF supporters did regular Sunday night broadcasts promoting social democracy and the CCF on CJCA radio. The Labour party leadership saw the CCF as a national party while viewing their own efforts as a Labour Party in cooperation with the UFA as the provincial voice of the CCF.

The Socialist and Communist Parties were busy organizing amongst farmers, immigrants (especially those of Eastern European origins) the unemployed and the un-skilled workers overlooked by the craft unions. After the splits in the Socialist Party in the 1920's many radical trade union activists, like Joseph Knight, abandoned the OBU in favour of building a workers party. This party had strong roots in the local Ukrainian community though much of its local leadership was english. It eventually became known as the Communist Party of Canada.

There was no love lost between radicals such as Carl Berg ( who had remained in the Socialist Party) or Knight with city council. They still remembered the bitter lessons of having been expelled from the ET&LC as well as the AFL when they were organizing the OBU in 1919. Those that expelled them were now sitting in City Hall.

The major crisis in Alberta was not only the Depression but the Federal Governments response to it. The Borden government cut relief payments to the provinces, especially for single male workers. The Province and the Municipalities were thus burdened with making payments to the thousands of workers tramping the country in search of work.

The Federal Government was deporting "illegal aliens" in order to solve unemployment problems. It also used this same act to deport its political opponents; in this case it was members of the Communist Party.

In 1931 DAN KNOTT became Mayor. Future mayor HARRY AINLAY was elected to his first term as Alderman. Labour was represented on council by Gibbs, Findlay and Sheppard. East rejoined council in 1932.

Labour had elected its first Mayor and it held an effective block of votes on City Council. But it also had political turmoil as the Communist Party and its Farmers Groups organized Hunger Marches and demonstrations against the Federal Governments failure to support relief payments. Relief was being given out to the unemployed families by the city and provincial governments to destitute families. Single men were expected to go to work camps formed by the Federal government. Farmers were facing massive foreclosures, forcing more into the cities looking for work.

While Edmonton and Calgary had some of the most generous relief payments in Canada, the plight of the unemployed was worsening as Labour took the reins at city hall.

1932 saw the first of many mass demonstrations of the unemployed in Edmonton and Calgary organized by the Workers Unity League and the Farmers Unity League, Communist Party front groups. The biggest demonstration happened in December of that year when 10,000 workers and unemployed held a mass hunger march in Edmonton. The intention of the demonstrators was to hold a public meeting in city hall square and then march on the Legislature. The UFA government banned the demonstration, refusing to allow the march and only agreeing to meet with a handful of the demonstrators 'leaders' at the last minute. The government called out the police as the demonstrators massed on Jasper Avenue. The police attacked the demonstrators injuring hundreds as they rode down on them on horseback beating them with truncheons and billie clubs. Both the populist farmer-labour government of the UFA and the labour city council in Edmonton were given a black eye over this affair, pushing even more workers and unionists towards the Workers Unity League and away from the purely electoral politics of the Canadian Labour Party , the CCF and the ET&LC.

By 1933 Edmonton had its first woman alderman; MARGARET CRANG, who was more left wing than the other labour representatives on city council. While active in the Canadian Labour Party and the CCF she was also active with Communist Party organizations of the unemployed. She tried to push her labour partners on city council, especially the mayor; Dan Knott to challenge the status quo and change the system. Unfortunately for her they were the status quo. Once again the real challenge would come from the unemployed in the streets.

Margaret Crang, was on council for four years, when she went to Spain with the International Brigades to fight on behalf of the republican government against the Fascists. An act of great heroism considering that the Federal government had banned any support for Republican Spain, and was arresting those organizing for the International Brigades in Canada. It was in Spain that she met and worked with Dr. Norman Bethune. When she returned she ran in provincial politics but was not elected.

In 1935 JOE CLARKE returned and ran for Mayor defeating Dan Knott and Rice Sheppard. He was elected for two terms. In 1936 Harry Ainlay tried his hand at running for the mayors chair but was unsuccessful against Clarke as well. Knott remained on council as an Alderman for the rest of the decade.

The failure of the UFA government to deal with unemployment and the mass protests it engendered led to wide scale dissatisfaction with the government. In 1935 the Social Credit party swept the provincial election in what was seen by Elmer Roper at the time 'as nothing less than a massive protest vote'. As part of the mass protest vote, the Communist party even scored significant votes. The Labour Party advocates, who had tied the provincial CCF to supporting the UFA were made painfully aware of their political blunder. The CCF would never make it as a provincial party in Alberta. The voice of the left in the thirties in Alberta would be taken up by their opponents; the Communist Party.

As a populist party, Social Credit was seen by Labour as being able to be lobbied to bring in effective social reforms. In fact the government did bring in new and advanced labour legislation in 1937, winning the grudging support of the AFL and the Labour councils.

THE MODERN ERA 1940-1960

1939 saw SIDNEY PARSONS an executive member of the Edmonton Trades & Labour Council elected as an Alderman. He held his seat through out the war years even after being elected President of the ET&LC in 1941.

In the forties labour no longer held the majority of seats on council, it did however gain repeated control of the Mayors Office. Sidney Parsons and Harry Ainley sharing the office between them from 1945 to 1950.

Labour was growing in Alberta during and after the war. There was expansion in Edmonton's Utility services as well as railroad and retail expansion. The 1940's saw a boom in unionization in the city as restaurant and hotel workers organized, along with construction trades and electrical workers.

The Committee for Industrial Organizing (CIO) in the United States and Canada had captured the imagination of the public and the press in the late 1930's and through-out the war years into the early 1950's with its spectacular use of the sit down strike in its organizing drives.

Labour in Edmonton was part and parcel of the community life of the city and reflected this in its annual Labour Day parades, softball leagues and support for local charities. The Labour Temple moved from downtown Edmonton to a new building in the 1940's making way for the building of the Edmonton Telephones Exchange building.

With a booming post war economy, Edmonton's Labour Mayors; Ainley and Parsons represented the hopes and faith Edmontonians were putting in rebuilding the city and the country. Mayor Ainlay reflected this vision when he tried to put Edmonton on Daylight Savings Time in 1946! His anticipation of a policy that in the nineties is both well known and accepted was, however, struck down by the provincial government. He also advocated and tirelessly promoted the Yellowhead highway, years before Leo LeClare would do the same and get credit for it.

Business and Labour in Edmonton forged cooperative relationships, especially in the city owned utility companies. Each saw the other as having the community's best interests at heart. This can be best seen in the fact that while there were strikes during this period they were usually for first contracts and of a short duration indicating a successful organizing drive.

Even when Edmonton Telephones operators went on strike in the late forties, they had public sympathy on their side, insuring a short period of inconvenience and a pay raise.

As Edmonton grew, labour saw its role as part of the city's progress. No longer was it fighting in the streets for its rights as it had in 1919 and during the thrities. Labour had gained a new respectability as it was part of the city's establishment. This was reflected in the election of ETHEL WILSON to council in 1953.

Wilson had been the recording secretary for the Edmonton District Labour Council and the Labour representative on the Unemployment Insurance Appeals board when she ran for Alderman. She was also an active member of the Social Credit party, a far cry from the heady days of the labour movement when it was identified with 'soviet power'. She sat as an alderman from 1953-1966, as well as being elected as a MLA and serving as a Cabinet Minister without Portfolio in the Manning Government. She best epitomizes the new pragmatism of the Labour movement in this era. Having won its battles to be represented politically, labour now moved to promote economic harmony and well being in the post war economic boom. The language of class war was put away and the ideology of progress and betterment for all was embraced in Canada's Labour movement. Labour in Edmonton was no exception to this trend with the shift toward the right, as exemplified by Ainlay, Wilson and finally Roper.

Edmonton's last Labour Mayor was ELMER ROPER from 1960-1962. He had served for 13 years a Labour MLA, been on the executive of the Alberta Federation of Labour and with Harry Ainlay, was a founding member of the CCF. In Edmonton he had built a thriving printing business, that was unionized, and had published a weekly labour paper since 1919. While having never served as an alderman, his prominence as a Labour politician and community activist established his reputation and saw him gain the Mayors seat by a wide majority. Gone were the heady days of social change, now Labour was part and parcel of the political establishment, holding the course of the city steady into the sixties. With the election of Roper, labour had become part of the of the establishment it had once sought to overthrow.

The Twenties and Thirties were a time of mobilization of workers in Edmonton, both in the streets and at the ballot box. Labour and it's supporters had elected labour representatives and effectively lobbied to change the dynamic of the city. Edmonton business interests could live with labours agenda at city hall, such as increased public ownership, expansion of telephones and utility services, construction of much needed infrastructure and increased growth downtown. Ironically business and labour politicians were united as well in opposition to the more radical elements, especially the Communist Party, in the streets.

By the Modern era, World War II and after, class interests were less pronounced, and voters identified as citizens. Labour representation on city council declined, in favour of voting 'for the man'. The long term reign in provincial politics of the Social Credit party and its shift rightward, along with the Cold War, finally rid labour of its socialist aspirations.

Labour embraced pragmatism and 'real politick', returning to the politics of Samuel Gompers of 'rewarding one's friends and punishing ones enemies'. Labour in Edmonton became fragmented as a voice of opposition to business interests that were gaining political prestige. Labour no longer had vision of a significantly different kind of progress than was being offered by business. After Roper, labour would support progressive Mayors and aldermen but would never again have the power on city council as they had once wielded for over thirty years.


Bercuson, David. Fools and Wise Men, The Rise and Fall of One Big Union Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1978.

Caragata, Warren. Alberta Labour; A Heritage Untold. Toronto: James Lorimer & Company, 1979.

Finkel, Alvin. The Social Credit Phenomenon in Alberta. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1989.

Horowitz, Gad. Canadian Labour in Politics. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1968.

Rek, Joseph. Municipal elections in Edmonton, 1892-1989: summary of results with short mayoral and aldermanic biographies. Edmonton: Information Division, Edmonton Public Library, April, 1990.

Robin, Martin. Radical Politics and Canadian Labour 1880-1930. Kingston: Industrial Relations Centre, Queens University, 1968.

Stinson, Margaret. The Wired City; A History of the Telephone in Edmonton. Edmonton: Edmonton Telephones, 1980.


Edmonton Free Press/Alberta Labour News 1919-1960,Provincial Archives, Edmonton, Alberta.

The ATA Magazine; 75th Anniversary Edition, January/February 1993. The Alberta Teachers Association, Edmonton, Alberta.

Minutes of the Edmonton District Labour Council. Provincial Archives, Edmonton , Alberta

Edmonton Journal May/June 1919, December 1932, and May-August 1937. Provincial Archives, Edmonton, Alberta

Edmonton Bulletin; May/June 1919, December 1932, and May-August 1937. Provincial Archives, Edmonton, Alberta

Alberta History Magazine, Fall 1975, Summer 1983, Historical Society of Alberta.

Edmonton Magazine, May 1983

The Alberta Hunger March and The Trial of the Victims of Brownlee's Police Terror. 1933 Pamphlet of the Canadian Labour Defense League/Workers Unity League. Provincial Archives of Alberta

Authors Note:

Portions of this article appeared originally in: the Edmonton Bullet Magazine; December 1992, the Edmonton District Labour Council (EDLC) Newsletter in 1993 and 1994, Labour News; June 1994.

My thanks goes out to Tom Monto of Alhambra Books and Crang Publishing of Edmonton who helped me with background information on Margret Crang.He has published two major pamphlets on the history of the Labour Movment in Alberta and the United Farmers of Alberta.

While some of the presentations at the Bicentennial Historical Reflections Symposium were published in a new book last year, this article was not included. A major oversight on the part of the Academic editors. However the EDLC is currently considering publishing it with appropriate photo's and period lithographic reproductions from the Provincial Archives.


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