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Manitoba
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No. 87


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Memorable
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Memorable Manitobans: Albert Edward Smith (1870-1947)

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Albert Edward Smith
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Cleric, agitator, MLA (1921-1922).

Born at Guelph, Ontario on 20 October 1870, son of William George Smith and Elizabeth Bildson, he was a Methodist minister and became President of the Manitoba Methodist Conference before leaving the church to organize a Labour Church in Brandon. Speaking during the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919, he argued the strike was as religious a movement as a church revival. He was elected to the Manitoba Legislature in 1920 but defeated in 1922. He later became President of the Ontario section of the Canadian Labor Party. As a member of the Communist Party, he was arrested in 1934 on charges of sedition under section 98 of the Criminal Code but was acquitted.

On 2 February 1898, he married Maude Mercy Rogers (?-?), daughter of John Rogers of Ottawa. They had seven children: Mercy E. Smith, Cora Smith, Jean Smith, Douglas Smith, Stewart Smith, Eben Smith, and Allenby Smith.

He moved to Toronto, Ontario in August 1923 and, two years later, became President of the Canadian Labour Party. In 1926 he became head of the Canadian Labour Defence League. He attended the labour defence conference at Moscow in 1932 and he visited Bulgaria in 1935 and Spain in 1937. He was a candidate for the Brandon constituency in the 1945 federal election but came in last.

He died at Toronto on 12 April 1947. His papers are in the United Church Archives at Toronto.

Sources:

The Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1922.

“A. E. Smith, strike leader in 1919, dies in Toronto,” Winnipeg Tribune, 14 April 1947, page 3. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9]

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 6 June 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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