Athabasca (provincial electoral district)

Athabasca was a provincial electoral district in Alberta, Canada, mandated to return a single member to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from 1905 to 1986.[1]

Athabasca
Alberta electoral district
Defunct provincial electoral district
LegislatureLegislative Assembly of Alberta
District created1905
District abolished1986
First contested1905
Last contested1982

HistoryEdit

The Athabasca electoral district was one of the original 25 electoral districts contested in the 1905 Alberta general election upon Alberta joining Confederation in September 1905. Throughout the years the district's boundaries would continue to change; however, the district would remain in North-East Alberta throughout the 81 years of its existence.

The Athabasca electoral district would return a single member to the Legislative Assembly through first-past-the-post system of voting from 1905 until 1924, when the United Farmers government introduced the new The Alberta Election Act which would institute instant-runoff voting in rural electoral districts throughout the province.[2] Instant-runoff voting would remain until the Social Credit government introduced amendments to The Election Act prior to the 1959 Alberta general election which returned every district in the province to a single member elected through first-past-the-post voting system.[3] Instant-runoff voting would have a relatively minor effect on the Athabasca district, as elected members received a plurality of votes (above 50%) in all general elections besides 1926, 1940 and 1955.

The Athabasca district was re-distributed prior to the 1986 Alberta general election. The area the district covered was merged with Lac La Biche to form the riding of Athabasca-Lac La Biche.

Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs)Edit

Members of the Legislative Assembly for Athabasca
Assembly Years Member Party
1st  1905–1909     William Bredin Liberal
2nd  1909–1913 Jean Côté
3rd  1913–1917 Alexander Grant MacKay
4th  1917–1920
 1920–1921 George Mills
5th  1921–1926
 1926–1926     Independent Liberal
6th  1926–1930     John W. Frame Liberal
 1930–1930     United Farmers
7th  1930–1935     Frank Robert Falconer Liberal
8th  1935–1935     Clarence H. Tade Social Credit
 1935–1940 Charles Cathmer Ross
9th  1940–1944 Gordon William Lee
10th  1944–1948
11th  1948–1952
12th  1952–1955 Antonio Aloisio
13th  1955–1959
14th  1959–1963
15th  1963–1967
16th  1967–1971
17th  1971–1975     Frank Pierpoint Appleby Progressive Conservative
18th  1975–1979
19th  1979–1982
20th  1982–1986
See Athabasca-Lac La Biche electoral district from 1986 to 1993

Boundary historyEdit

Election resultsEdit

1905 general electionEdit

Returning officer[4]
Henry Barrington Round

The Athabasca electoral district was created in 1905 as part of the original twenty-five electoral districts when Alberta was formed into a province from the Northwest Territories. The district consisted mostly of undeveloped wilderness covering the eastern half of northern Alberta. In 1905 the primary occupation was hunting and trapping and the local economy existed around the fur trade. The town of Athabasca, which was the only major settlement in the district, was experiencing a boom at that time as people flocked north to buy real estate.[5]

The provincial Liberal party nominated William Fletcher Bredin as their candidate. He was a pioneer fur trader and was well known in the district.[6] He made history by becoming the first person acclaimed to serve in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.[7] The provincial Conservative party being very weak in organization in northern Alberta was unable to find a candidate to oppose him. This was the only electoral district during this general election that sent a candidate to Edmonton by acclamation.

1905 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal William Fletcher Bredin Acclaimed
Total N/A
Rejected, spoiled and declined N/A
Eligible electors / turnout N/A N/A
Liberal pickup new district.
Source(s)
Source: "Athabasca Official Results 1905 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.

1909 general electionEdit

1909 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Jean Côté 230 59.59%
Liberal William Fletcher Bredin 149 38.60%
Conservative V. Maurice 7 1.81%
Total 386
Rejected, spoiled and declined N/A
Eligible electors / turnout 620 62.26%
Liberal hold Swing N/A
Source(s)
Source: "Athabasca Official Results 1909 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.

1913 general electionEdit

1913 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Alexander Grant MacKay 414 65.20% -32.99%
Conservative James H. Wood 221 34.80% 32.99%
Total 635
Rejected, spoiled and declined N/A
Eligible electors / turnout 1,179 53.86%
Liberal hold Swing 4.70%
Source(s)
Source: "Athabasca Official Results 1913 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.

1917 general electionEdit

1917 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Alexander Grant MacKay 752 65.79% 0.59%
Conservative Alfred F. Fugl 391 34.21% -0.59%
Total 1,143
Rejected, spoiled and declined N/A
Eligible electors / turnout 1,595 71.66%
Liberal hold Swing 0.59%
Source(s)
Source: "Athabasca Official Results 1917 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.

1918 by-electionEdit

Alberta provincial by-election, September 27, 1918
Ministerial by-election upon Alexander Grant MacKay's appointment as Minister of Municipal Affairs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Alexander Grant MacKay Acclaimed
Total N/A
Rejected, spoiled and declined N/A
Eligible electors / turnout N/A N/A
Liberal hold Swing N/A
Source(s)
"By-elections". Elections Alberta. Retrieved May 26, 2020.

1920 by-electionEdit

Alberta provincial by-election, June 3, 1920
Upon Alexander Grant MacKay's death on April 25, 1920
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal George Mills 640 69.11%
Independent James Cornwall 286 30.89%
Total 926
Rejected, spoiled and declined N/A
Eligible electors / turnout N/A N/A
Liberal hold Swing N/A
Source(s)
"By-elections". Elections Alberta. Retrieved May 26, 2020.

1921 general electionEdit

1921 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal George Mills 1,043 70.43% 4.63%
Conservative John Angelo 438 29.57% -4.63%
Total 1,481
Rejected, spoiled and declined N/A
Eligible electors / turnout N/A N/A
Liberal hold Swing 4.63%
Source(s)
Source: "Athabasca Official Results 1921 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.

1926 general electionEdit

1926 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
First count
Liberal John W. Frame 373 32.89% -37.54%
United Farmers J. P. Evans 295 26.01%
Conservative W. J. Dent 245 21.61% -7.96%
Independent Liberal George Mills 221 19.49%
Total 1,134
Ballot transfer results
Liberal John W. Frame 451 55.41%
United Farmers J. P. Evans 363 44.59%
Conservative W. J. Dent Eliminated
Independent Liberal George Mills Eliminated
Total 814
Rejected, spoiled and declined 62
Eligible electors / turnout 1,750 68.34%
Liberal hold Swing -20.43%
Source(s)
Source: "Athabasca Official Results 1926 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
Instant-runoff voting requires a candidate to receive a plurality (greater than 50%) of the votes.
As no candidate received a plurality of votes, the bottom candidate was eliminated and their 2nd place votes were applied to both other candidates until one received a plurality

1930 general electionEdit

1930 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Frank Robert Falconer 1,057 55.11% 22.22%
United Farmers John W. Frame 861 44.89% 18.88%
Total 1,918
Rejected, spoiled and declined 81
Eligible electors / turnout 3,129 63.89%
Liberal gain from Party Swing 5.11%
Source(s)
Source: "Athabasca Official Results 1930 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.

1935 general electionEdit

1935 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Social Credit Clarence H. Tade 1,764 58.24%
Liberal Frank Robert Falconer 950 31.36% -34.43%
Conservative Angus McLeod 315 10.40% -23.81%
Total 3,029
Rejected, spoiled and declined N/A
Eligible electors / turnout 4,264 71.04%
Social Credit gain from Party Swing 8.33%
Source(s)
Source: "Athabasca Official Results 1935 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.

1935 by-electionEdit

Alberta provincial by-election, November 4, 1935
Upon Clarence H. Tade's resignation on October 8, 1935 to provide a seat for Minister Charles Cathmer Ross
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Social Credit Charles Cathmer Ross Acclaimed
Total N/A
Rejected, spoiled and declined N/A
Eligible electors / turnout N/A N/A
Social Credit hold Swing N/A
Source(s)
"By-elections". Elections Alberta. Retrieved May 26, 2020.

1940 general electionEdit

1940 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
First count
Social Credit Gordon William Lee 1,965 48.13% -10.11%
Independent M. P. Cordingley 1,336 32.72%
Co-operative Commonwealth Norman J. Shopland 782 19.15%
Total 4,083
Ballot transfer results
Social Credit Gordon William Lee 2,078 58.13%
Independent M. P. Cordingley 1,497 41.87%
Co-operative Commonwealth Norman J. Shopland Eliminated
Total 3,575
Rejected, spoiled and declined N/A
Eligible electors / turnout 6,938 61.92%
Social Credit hold Swing 4.38%
Source(s)
Source: "Athabasca Official Results 1940 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
Instant-runoff voting requires a candidate to receive a plurality (greater than 50%) of the votes.
As no candidate received a plurality of votes, the bottom candidate was eliminated and their 2nd place votes were applied to both other candidates until one received a plurality

1944 general electionEdit

1944 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Social Credit Gordon William Lee 2,288 53.73% 5.60%
Co-operative Commonwealth John E. Ball 1,410 33.11% 13.96%
Labor–Progressive G. J. McKenzie 560 13.15%
Total 4,258
Rejected, spoiled and declined 120
Eligible electors / turnout 7,132 61.39%
Social Credit hold Swing 10.31%
Source(s)
Source: "Athabasca Official Results 1944 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.

1948 general electionEdit

1948 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Social Credit Gordon William Lee 2,374 52.08% -1.65%
Co-operative Commonwealth Norman J. Shopland 1,226 26.90% -6.21%
Liberal Victor C. Hicks 958 21.02%
Total 4,558
Rejected, spoiled and declined 251
Eligible electors / turnout 8,148 59.02% -2.37%
Social Credit hold Swing 2.28%
Source(s)
Source: "Athabasca Official Results 1948 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.

1952 general electionEdit

1952 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Social Credit Antonio Aloisio 2,012 50.78% -1.30%
Liberal Val M. Breckenridge 864 21.81% 0.79%
Co-operative Commonwealth J. Lyall McMillan 623 15.72% -11.18%
Farmer Sam Nowakowsky 463 11.69%
Total 3,962
Rejected, spoiled and declined 321
Eligible electors / turnout 6,457 66.33% 7.31%
Social Credit gain Swing 1.89%
Source(s)
Source: "Athabasca Official Results 1952 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.

1955 general electionEdit

1955 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
First count
Social Credit Antonio Aloisio 2,073 46.43% -2.72%
Liberal Richard Edward Hall 2,069 46.34% 26.76%
Labor–Progressive John Harry 293 3.38%
Total 4,435
Ballot transfer results
Liberal Richard Edward Hall 2,145 50.57%
Social Credit Antonio Aloisio 2,097 49.43%
Labor–Progressive John Harry Eliminated
Total 4,242
Rejected, spoiled and declined N/A
Eligible electors / turnout 6,581 67.39%
Liberal gain from Social Credit Swing -14.23%
Source(s)
Source: "Athabasca Official Results 1955 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
Instant-runoff voting requires a candidate to receive a plurality (greater than 50%) of the votes.
As no candidate received a plurality of votes, the bottom candidate was eliminated and their 2nd place votes were applied to both other candidates until one received a plurality

1959 general electionEdit

1959 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Social Credit Antonio Aloisio 2,333 54.29% 7.86%
Liberal Richard Edward Hall 1,069 24.88% -21.46%
Progressive Conservative Robert Shopland 707 16.45%
Labor–Progressive John Harry 188 4.38% 1.00%
Total 4,297
Rejected, spoiled and declined 10
Eligible electors / turnout 5,999 71.80%
Social Credit gain from Liberal Swing 14.45%
Source(s)
Source: "Athabasca Official Results 1959 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.

1963 general electionEdit

1963 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Social Credit Antonio Aloisio 2,241 50.83% -3.47%
Liberal Dave Hunter 1,827 41.44% 16.56%
New Democratic Judith Johnston 223 5.06%
Communist Trygve Hansen 118 2.68%
Total 4,409
Rejected, spoiled and declined 35
Eligible electors / turnout 6,070 73.21%
Social Credit hold Swing -10.01%
Source(s)
Source: "Athabasca Official Results 1963 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.

1967 general electionEdit

1967 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Social Credit Antonio Aloisio 1,733 45.11% -5.72%
New Democratic George Opryshko 1,170 30.45% 25.40%
Liberal Dave Hunter 939 24.44% -17.00%
Total 3,842
Rejected, spoiled and declined 2
Eligible electors / turnout 5,604 68.59%
Social Credit hold Swing 2.63%
Source(s)
Source: "Athabasca Official Results 1967 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.

1971 general electionEdit

1971 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Frank Pierpoint Appleby 3,261 46.71%
Social Credit Allan Gerlach 2,585 37.02% -8.09%
New Democratic Peter Opryshko 1,136 16.27% -14.17%
Total 6,982
Rejected, spoiled and declined 51
Eligible electors / turnout 9,200 76.45% 7.14%
Progressive Conservative gain from Social Credit Swing -2.49%
Source(s)
Source: "Athabasca Official Results 1971 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.

1975 general electionEdit

1975 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Frank Pierpoint Appleby 3,723 59.88% 13.17%
New Democratic Peter Opryshko 1,686 27.12% 10.90%
Social Credit Peter Hupka 582 9.36% -27.66%
Liberal John Murphy 226 3.64%
Total 6,217
Rejected, spoiled and declined 26
Eligible electors / turnout 8,923 69.97% -6.47%
Progressive Conservative hold Swing 11.54%
Source(s)
Source: "Athabasca Official Results 1975 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.

1979 general electionEdit

1979 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Frank Pierpoint Appleby 4,153 55.46% -4.42%
New Democratic Peter Opryshko 1,792 23.93% -3.19%
Social Credit Ernest W. Maser 989 13.21% 3.85%
Liberal Robert Blain Logan 554 7.40% 3.76%
Total 7,488
Rejected, spoiled and declined N/A
Eligible electors / turnout 11,071 67.64% -2.33
Progressive Conservative hold Swing -0.62%
Source(s)
Source: "Athabasca Official Results 1979 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.

1982 general electionEdit

1982 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Frank Pierpoint Appleby 5,342 57.07% 1.61%
New Democratic Ed Caraher 1,952 20.85% -3.07%
Western Canada Concept Con Sehn 1,538 16.43%
Social Credit Adam Hauch 529 5.65% -1.75%
Total 9,361
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 18
Eligible electors / Turnout 12,087 77.60% 9.94%
Progressive Conservative hold Swing 2.34%
Source(s)
Source: "Athabasca Official Results 1982 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.

Plebiscite resultsEdit

1948 electrification plebisciteEdit

District results from the first province wide plebiscite on electricity regulation:

Option A Option B
Are you in favour of the generation and distribution of electricity being continued by the Power Companies? Are you in favour of the generation and distribution of electricity being made a publicly owned utility administered by the Alberta Government Power Commission?
1,262     29.08% 3,077     70.92%
Province wide result: Option A passed.

1957 liquor plebisciteEdit

1957 Alberta liquor plebiscite results: Athabasca[8]
Question A: Do you approve additional types of outlets for the
sale of beer, wine and spirituous liquor subject to a local vote?
Ballot choice Votes %
Yes 1,161 64.11%
No 650 35.89%
Total votes 1,811 100%
Rejected, spoiled and declined 62
5,774 eligible electors, turnout 32.44%

On October 30, 1957, a stand-alone plebiscite was held province wide in all 50 of the then current provincial electoral districts in Alberta. The government decided to consult Alberta voters to decide on liquor sales and mixed drinking after a divisive debate in the legislature. The plebiscite was intended to deal with the growing demand for reforming antiquated liquor control laws.[9]

The plebiscite was conducted in two parts. Question A, asked in all districts, asked the voters if the sale of liquor should be expanded in Alberta, while Question B, asked in a handful of districts within the corporate limits of Calgary and Edmonton, asked if men and women should be allowed to drink together in establishments.[8]

Province wide Question A of the plebiscite passed in 33 of the 50 districts while Question B passed in all five districts. Athbasca voted by a large majority in favor of the issue. The district recorded one of the lowest turnouts, well below the province wide 46% average.[8]

Official district returns were released to the public on December 31, 1957.[8] The Social Credit government in power at the time did not consider the results binding.[10] However, the results of the vote led the government to repeal all existing liquor legislation and introduce an entirely new Liquor Act.[11]

Municipal districts lying inside electoral districts that voted against the plebiscite were designated Local Option Zones by the Alberta Liquor Control Board and considered effective dry zones. Business owners who wanted a license had to petition for a binding municipal plebiscite in order to be granted a license.[12]

By-elections and member party changesEdit

  • September 27, 1918 — Appointment of Alexander Grant MacKay as the Minister of Municipal Affairs
  • June 3, 1920 — Death of Alexander Grant MacKay
  • November 4, 1935 — Resignation of Clarence Tade to provide a seat for Minister Charles Cathmer Ross
  • November 7, 1938 — Death of Charles Cathmer Ross
  • 1921 - 1926 — George Mills became an Independent Liberal (date not available).
  • 1926 - 1930 — John W. Frame crossed the floor from the Liberals to the United Farmers of Alberta (date not available).

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Election results for Athabasca". abheritage.ca. Wayback Machine: Heritage Community Foundation. Archived from the original on December 8, 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  2. ^ The Alberta Election Act, S.A. 1924, c. 34
  3. ^ The Election Act, S.A. 1956, c. 15
  4. ^ "Territories Elections Ordinance; Province of Alberta". Vol VI No. 12. The Rocky Mountain Echo. October 30, 1905. p. 4.
  5. ^ "Athabasca History". Athabasca Heritage Society. Retrieved 2008-08-17.
  6. ^ "The Roots & Birth of Mirror 1870 to 1930". Mirror and District Museum. Archived from the original on 2013-01-15. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
  7. ^ "Athabasca election results 1905". Alberta Heritage Foundation. Archived from the original on 2011-06-12. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
  8. ^ a b c d Alberta Gazette. 53 (December 31 ed.). Government of Alberta. 1957. pp. 2, 247–2, 249.
  9. ^ "Albertans Vote 2 to 1 For More Liquor Outlets". Vol L No 273. The Lethbridge Herald. October 31, 1957. pp. 1–2.
  10. ^ "No Sudden Change In Alberta Drinking Habits Is Seen". Vol L No 267. The Lethbridge Herald. October 24, 1957. p. 1.
  11. ^ "Entirely New Act On Liquor". Vol LI No 72. The Lethbridge Herald. March 5, 1968. p. 1.
  12. ^ "Bill 81". Alberta Bills 12th Legislature 1st Session. Government of Alberta. 1958. p. 40.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit