Stan Roberts

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Stanley Carl "Stan" Roberts (January 17, 1927 September 6, [1] 1990 [2] ) was a Canadian politician. He was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba between 1958 and 1962, [1] and ran for the leadership of the Manitoba Liberal Party in 1961. [3] He was later involved with the Liberal Party of Canada, and was a founding member of the Reform Party of Canada.

Canadians citizens of Canada

Canadians are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, several of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Canadian.

A politician is a person active in party politics, or a person holding or seeking office in government. Politicians propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and, by extension, its people. Broadly speaking, a "politician" can be anyone who seeks to achieve political power in any bureaucratic institution.

Legislative Assembly of Manitoba form the Legislature of Manitoba, Canada

The Legislative Assembly of Manitoba is the deliberative assembly of the Manitoba Legislature in the Canadian province of Manitoba. Fifty-seven members are elected to this assembly at provincial general elections, all in single-member constituencies with first-past-the-post voting. Bills passed by the Legislative Assembly are given royal assent by the Queen of Canada in Right of Manitoba, represented by the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba. The Manitoba Legislative Building is located in central Winnipeg, at the meeting point of the Wolseley and Fort Rouge constituencies.


Early years

Roberts was born in St. Adolphe, Manitoba, later farming there, [4] and received of Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Manitoba and an MBA from Western University. [5] He was first elected to the Manitoba legislature in 1958, as a Liberal-Progressive candidate in the francophone riding of La Verendrye (Roberts was himself bilingual). Although Dufferin Roblin's Progressive Conservative (PC) Party won the general election, [1] Roberts defeated his Tory opponent Stan Bisson by 1565 votes to 1395. He was re-elected in 1959, [1] defeating PC candidate Edmond Guertin.

St. Adolphe, Manitoba Place in Manitoba, Canada

Saint Adolphe, or St. Adolphe, originally called Pointe-Coupée is a diked community in the Rural Municipality of Ritchot, Manitoba, Canada. It is located along the east bank of the Red River, approximately 12 kilometres south of Winnipeg. It was renamed after Adolphe Turner who made a large donation to the local church. St. Adolphe is notable for being home to the world's largest snow maze.

A Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years, or a person holding such a degree.

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.

When Douglas Campbell resigned as Liberal-Progressive leader in 1961, Roberts ran to succeed him. He represented a "left opposition" within the party, and accused its more conservative leadership of being ineffective against Roblin's centrist/progressive government. He was defeated by establishment candidate Gildas Molgat by 475 votes to 279 on April 20, 1961, one day after the party formally renamed itself the Manitoba Liberal Party. [3]

Douglas Lloyd Campbell politician from Manitoba, Canada

Douglas Lloyd Campbell, OC was a politician in Manitoba, Canada. He served as the 13th Premier of Manitoba from 1948 to 1958. He was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba for 47 years, longer than anyone in the province's history.

Gildas Molgat Canadian politician

Gildas Laurent Molgat, CD was a Canadian politician. He served as leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party from 1961 to 1969, and was subsequently appointed to the Senate of Canada, where he served as Speaker from 1994 until 2001. He died shortly thereafter.


Roberts resigned from the legislature to contest the 1962 federal election [1] in the riding of Provencher; he was defeated by Progressive Conservative Warner Jorgenson by about a thousand votes. He again lost to Jorgenson in the 1963 federal election, by a slightly greater margin. [6]

1962 Canadian federal election

The Canadian federal election of 1962 was held on June 18, 1962 to elect members of the House of Commons of Canada of the 25th Parliament of Canada. When the election was called, Progressive Conservative (PC) Prime Minister John Diefenbaker had governed for four years with the then-largest majority in the House of Commons in Canadian history.

Electoral district (Canada) federal or provincial electoral district in Canada

An electoral district in Canada, also known as a "constituency" or a "riding", is a geographical constituency upon which Canada's representative democracy is based. It is officially known in Canadian French as a circonscription, but frequently called a comté (county).

Progressive Conservative Party of Canada Former Canadian political party

The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada was a federal political party in Canada.

Roberts subsequently worked as a Manitoba advisor to Liberal Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, and served as president and acting leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party from 1969 to 1970 (after party leader Robert Bend failed to win his seat in the 1969 provincial election). He also worked as an executive officer for McCabe Grain Company Limited, later National Grain Company Limited. In 1971, he was named vice-president of Simon Fraser University, [5] serving until 1976. [4]

Liberal Party of Canada oldest federal political party in Canada

The Liberal Party of Canada is the oldest and longest-serving political party in Canada. The party has dominated federal politics for much of Canada's history, holding power for almost 69 years in the 20th century—more than any other party in a developed country—and as a result, it is sometimes referred to as Canada's "natural governing party".

Prime Minister of Canada Head of government for Canada

The prime minister of Canada is the primary Minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and Canada's head of government. The current, and 23rd, prime minister of Canada is the Liberal Party's Justin Trudeau, following the 2015 Canadian federal election. Canadian prime ministers are styled as The Right Honourable, a privilege maintained for life.

Lester B. Pearson 14th Prime Minister of Canada

Lester Bowles "Mike" Pearson was a Canadian scholar, statesman, soldier, prime minister, and diplomat, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for organizing the United Nations Emergency Force to resolve the Suez Canal Crisis. He was the 14th prime minister of Canada from 1963 to 1968, as the head of two back-to-back Liberal minority governments following elections in 1963 and 1965.

Constitutional reform involvement

In 1976, Roberts became the first president of the Canada West Foundation. In this capacity, he took a leading role in arguing for the position of the west in Canada's constitutional debates. [5] He also developed contacts with Ernest and Preston Manning. In late 1978, Roberts expressed interest in Francis Winspear's proposed constitutional reforms, which included Senate reform and the equal treatment of all provinces.

The Canada West Foundation is a pan-western non-partisan think tank based in Calgary, Alberta. It primarily conducts research on issues of concern in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, but also on issues of national significance.

Ernest Manning Canadian politician

Ernest Charles Manning,, a Canadian politician, was the eighth premier of Alberta between 1943 and 1968 for the Social Credit Party of Alberta. He served longer than any other premier in the province's history and was the second longest serving provincial premier in Canadian history. He was also the only member of the Social Credit Party of Canada to sit in the Senate and, with the party shut out of the House of Commons in 1980, was its very last representative in Parliament when he retired from the Senate in 1983.

Preston Manning Canadian politician

Ernest Preston Manning is a Canadian politician. He was a founder and the only leader of the Reform Party of Canada, a Canadian federal political party that evolved into the Canadian Alliance which in turn merged with the Progressive Conservative Party to form today's Conservative Party of Canada. Manning represented the federal constituency of Calgary Southwest in the Canadian House of Commons from 1993 until his retirement in 2002. He served as Leader of the Official Opposition from 1997 to 2000. Upon his retirement he has founded the Manning Foundation for Democratic Education and the Manning Centre for Building Democracy, not-for-profit organizations dedicated to strengthening Canadian democracy in accordance with conservative principles.

During this period, Roberts made several speeches warning about the possibility of western separatism. There were some within the Canada West Foundation who believed that Roberts himself was partly sympathetic to separatism; he never became affiliated with the movement, but was forced to step down as CWF President in December 1980 after some controversial statements on the subject. In 1980, he moved from British Columbia to Toronto [7] after being named president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. [5] Roberts left that position in 1982. [4]

Roberts remained loyal to the Liberal Party during this period. He ran for the leadership of the British Columbia Liberal Party in 1984, but lost to former Member of Parliament Art Lee on the first ballot. [8] Roberts's participation in this contest probably prevented him from running to succeed Pierre Trudeau as leader of the federal party. Roberts disagreed with the selection of John Turner as party leader, but he nevertheless ran for the federal Liberals in the Quebec riding of Lachine in 1984, losing to Progressive Conservative Bob Layton. [9]

Reform Party of Canada

After this election, Roberts began to consider forming a new political party. The federal Liberal Party had long been weak in western Canada, and won only two seats west of Ontario in 1984. Roberts believed that a new party might be necessary to oppose Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in western Canada. In 1987, he became involved with Francis Winspear, Preston Manning and Ted Byfield in plans to create what would later become the Reform Party of Canada. [10]

Roberts was in many respects an unlikely figure within this group. His political philosophy was centrist, perhaps somewhat left-of-centre. He was not an uncritical supporter of free-market economics, and he does not seem to have been a social conservative. Nevertheless, he was willing to work with more conservative figures to create the new party.

Even before the Reform Party's founding convention (October 30-November 1, 1987), Roberts began to have concerns about the new party's ideology. He opposed its regionalist aspects, and was concerned by its popularity with voters who opposed bilingualism and Quebec's role in Canada's Confederation. One week before the founding convention, he agreed to stand for the party's leadership against Preston Manning, the only other declared candidate.

At the convention, Manning's supporters among the convention-goers voted to close the registration process one day ahead of schedule, perhaps fearing Roberts was planning to bus in several "instant delegates". After failed negotiations with the Manning camp, Roberts dropped out of the race on November 1, claiming that Manning's supporters had hijacked the party from its original intentions. He referred to Manning's supporters as "fanatical Albertans" and "small-minded evangelical cranks".[ citation needed ]

Roberts subsequently sought the Reform Party's nomination in the British Columbia riding of Saanich—Gulf Islands for the 1988 federal election, but was defeated. He had no further involvement with the Reform Party,[ citation needed ] and died of a brain tumour in Burnaby two years later. [7]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "MLA Biographies - Deceased". Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. Archived from the original on 2014-03-30.
  2. Ostry, Bernard; Yalden, Janice (2004). Visions of Canada: The Alan B. Plaunt Memorial Lectures, 1958 - 1992. McGill-Queen's Press. p. 432. ISBN   0773571590 . Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  3. 1 2 Adams, Christopher (2008). Politics in Manitoba: Parties, Leaders, and Voters. University of Manitoba Press. p. 83. ISBN   0887553559 . Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  4. 1 2 3 Janigan, Karen (August 1, 1984). "Outsider Roberts at home in Lachine". Montreal Gazette. p. 5. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Johnson, William (2009). Stephen Harper and the Future of Canada. Random House LLC. p. 77. ISBN   1551992205 . Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  6. "Provencher, Manitoba (1871 - )". History of Federal Ridings since 1867. Library of Parliament. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  7. 1 2 Stamp, Robert M (1990). Canadian Obituary Record. Dundurn Press. p. 161. ISBN   1550020870.
  8. "B.C. Liberals elect Lee as new leader". Montreal Gazette. April 2, 1984. p. 7. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  9. "Lachine, Quebec (1966 - 1973)". History of Federal Ridings since 1867. Library of Parliament. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  10. Flanagan, Tom (2009). Waiting for the Wave: The Reform Party and the Conservative Movement. McGill-Queen's Press. p. 51. ISBN   0773575278 . Retrieved 2013-09-15.