Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Joseph Paul “Joe” Borowski (1932-1996)

Miner, MLA (1969), MLA (1969-1971), anti-abortion crusader.

Born at Wishart, Saskatchewan on 12 December 1932, he worked as a cook in mines and owned a Saskatoon restaurant. He became a miner at Thompson, then opened a souvenir shop where in 1965 he refused to collect provincial sales tax. He was elected NDP MLA for Churchill at a 1969 by-election, replacing Gordon Beard, and was re-elected at the 1969 general election. He held ministerial portfolios of Transportation (1969-1971) and Public Works (1970-1971) in the Schreyer government. He resigned in 1971 over the abortion issue and became the most prominent pro-lifer in Canada. He went on a hunger strike and carried on a long constitutional battle with the Canadian Supreme Court, which he lost in 1989. He stood as an Independent in the 1973 provincial general election but came in a distant second place. He died at Winnipeg on 23 September 1996 and was buried at Wynyard, Saskatchewan.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Joseph P. Borowski Memorial (1629 Pembina Highway, Winnipeg)


“Future cabinet ministers, their past and present,” Winnipeg Free Press, 9 July 1969, page 26.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 24 September 1996, page 28.

Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 15 August 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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