Robert Steen

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Robert Ashley Steen, QC (August 12, 1933 [1] in Winnipeg, Manitoba [2] – May 10, 1979) was a politician in Manitoba, Canada. He was a Progressive Conservative member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 1966 to 1969, [1] and later served as the 38th Mayor of Winnipeg from 1977 to 1979. [3]

Queens Counsel Jurist appointed by letters patent in some Commonwealth realms

A Queen's Counsel during the reign of a queen, or King's Counsel during the reign of a king, is a lawyer who is appointed by a country's monarch to be one of "Her [His] Majesty's Counsel learned in the law." The position originated in England and is also recognized in some Commonwealth of Nations jurisdictions around the world. Other Commonwealth countries have either abolished the position, or re-named it to eliminate monarchical connotations, such as "Senior Counsel" or "Senior Advocate".

Winnipeg Provincial capital city in Manitoba, Canada

Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of the province of Manitoba in Canada. Centred on the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, it is near the longitudinal centre of North America, approximately 110 kilometres (70 mi) north of the Canada–United States border.

Manitoba Province of Canada

Manitoba is a province at the longitudinal centre of Canada. It is often considered one of the three prairie provinces and is Canada's fifth-most populous province with its estimated 1.3 million people. Manitoba covers 649,950 square kilometres (250,900 sq mi) with a widely varied landscape, stretching from the northern oceanic coastline to the southern border with the United States. The province is bordered by the provinces of Ontario to the east and Saskatchewan to the west, the territories of Nunavut to the north, and Northwest Territories to the northwest, and the U.S. states of North Dakota and Minnesota to the south.

Steen was educated at the University of Manitoba and the Manitoba Law School, [2] was called to the Manitoba bar in 1959 and worked as a barrister and solicitor. In March 1979, he was appointed Queen's Counsel [4] for his exceptional merit and contribution to the legal profession.

The University of Manitoba is a public research university in Manitoba, Canada. Its main campus is located in the Fort Garry neighbourhood of southern Winnipeg with other campuses throughout the city. Founded in 1877, it is Western Canada's first university. The university maintains a reputation as a top research-intensive post-secondary educational institution and conducts more research annually than any other university in the region.

His brother Warren also served on Winnipeg city council and in the provincial assembly. [5]

Warren Steen was a politician in Manitoba, Canada. He served as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 1975 to 1986, as a Progressive Conservative.

Steen was an adviser to the federal Minister of Veterans Affairs in 1961, [4] and to the provincial Minister of Education in 1965.

The Minister of Veterans Affairs is the Minister of the Crown responsible for the Veterans Affairs Canada.

The Minister of Education is a cabinet minister in the province of Manitoba, Canada. The department's primary responsibility is oversight of Manitoba's public school system.

He was elected to the Manitoba legislature in the 1966 provincial election, winning a relatively easy victory in the Winnipeg riding of St. Matthews. For the next three years, he served as a backbench supporter of the governments of Dufferin Roblin and Walter Weir. [1]

1966 Manitoba general election

The 1966 Manitoba general election was held on June 23, 1966 to elect Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Manitoba, Canada. It resulted in a third consecutive majority win for the Progressive Conservative Party led by Dufferin Roblin. Roblin's Tories won 31 seats, against 14 for the Liberal Party, 11 for the New Democratic Party and one for Social Credit.

Dufferin Roblin Canadian politician

Dufferin "Duff" Roblin, was a Canadian businessman and politician. Known as "Duff," he served as the 14th Premier of Manitoba from 1958 to 1967. Roblin was appointed to the Senate of Canada on the advice of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. In the government of Brian Mulroney, he served as Senate Leader. He was the grandson of Sir Rodmond Roblin, who also served as Manitoba Premier. His ancestor John Roblin served in the Upper Canada assembly.

Walter Cocksmith Weir was a Canadian politician. Weir served as the 15th Premier of Manitoba from 1967 to 1969.

The Progressive Conservatives were defeated by the New Democratic Party in the 1969 provincial election, and Steen lost his seat to NDP candidate Wally Johannson [1] by almost 800 votes. He tried to return to the legislature in the 1973 provincial election, but finished third against Liberal leader Izzy Asper in the riding of Wolseley.

New Democratic Party of Manitoba political party

The New Democratic Party of Manitoba is a social-democratic political party in Manitoba, Canada. It is the provincial wing of the federal New Democratic Party of Canada, and is a successor to the Manitoba Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. It is currently the opposition party in Manitoba.

1969 Manitoba general election

The 1969 Manitoba general election was held on June 25, 1969 to elect Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) of the Canadian province of Manitoba. It was a watershed moment in the province's political history. The social-democratic New Democratic Party emerged for the first time as the largest party in the legislature, winning 28 out of 57 seats. The governing Progressive Conservative Party fell to 22, and the once-dominant Liberal Party fell to an historical low of five. The Social Credit Party won one seat, and there was also one Independent elected.

Thorkell Wallace (Wally) Johannson is a Canadian former politician. He was a New Democratic member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 1969 to 1977.

He had much greater success in municipal politics. Steen was elected to the Winnipeg City Council in the elections of 1971 and 1974. Originally aligned with the right-wing Independent Citizens' Election Committee, Steen later broke away from this group and emerged as an independent centrist.

In 1977, Winnipeg mayor Stephen Juba announced his retirement after twenty years in office. He made this announcement in the most dramatic manner possible, waiting until almost the last moment before declaring that he would not file nomination papers (many believe he did this to prevent Bernie Wolfe from organizing a campaign to succeed him). [6]

Steen, who had entered the race as a long-shot candidate, suddenly found himself supported by Juba's north-end support base. Although not a left-wing candidate, he was seen by many on the left as more palatable than Bill Norrie, the candidate of the ICEC. The results were extremely close, with Steen defeating Norrie by 69,818 votes to 67,999. [2]

Steen had developed a reputation as a master deal maker during his time in council but died of liver cancer on May 10, 1979 soon after taking office. [2] Bill Norrie easily won the by-election that followed. [3]

He served as chairman of the board for the Misericordia Hospital in Winnipeg, the hospital where he was born and later died. [4]

In 1980, the National Film Board of Canada issued a documentary film entitled "The New Mayor", covering Steen's rise to power. [2]

The Robert A. Steen Community Centre is named in his honour. Each year, the winner of the Manitoba Marathon is awarded the Mayor Robert Steen Memorial Trophy. The Mayor Robert Steen Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the top pins over average bowler at the Manitoba Master Bantam Junior 5 Pin Bowling Tournament.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "MLA Biographies - Deceased". Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Bumsted, J M (2000). Dictionary of Manitoba Biography. University of Manitoba Press. pp. 237–38. ISBN   0887553184 . Retrieved 2013-12-03.
  3. 1 2 "Mayors, Past and Present". City of Winnipeg. Archived from the original on 2008-12-25. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
  4. 1 2 3 "Winnipeg mayor dies of cancer". Montreal Gazette. May 12, 1979. p. 97. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
  5. "Robert Ashley Steen (1933-1979)". Memorable Manitobans. Manitoba Historical Society . Retrieved 2013-12-02.
  6. Levine, Allan (1989). Your Worship: The Lives of Eight of Canada's Most Unforgettable Mayors. James Lorimer & Company. pp. 94–95. ISBN   1550282093 . Retrieved 2013-12-03.
Preceded by
Stephen Juba
Mayor of Winnipeg, MB
1977-1979
Succeeded by
Bill Norrie