David Milwyn Duggan
David Milwyn Duggan (May 5, 1879 – May 4, 1942) was a Welsh-born Canadian politician who was the Mayor of Edmonton from 1920 to 1923, a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, and a leader of the Conservative Party of Alberta.
David Milwyn Duggan
|Leader of the Conservative Party of Alberta|
1930 – May 4, 1942
|Preceded by||Alexander McGillivray|
|Succeeded by||John Percy Page (after several years of dormancy)|
|Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Edmonton|
June 28, 1926 – May 4, 1942
|16th Mayor of Edmonton|
December 13, 1920 – December 10, 1923
|Preceded by||Joseph Clarke|
|Succeeded by||Kenny Blatchford|
|Born||May 5, 1879|
|Died||May 4, 1942 (aged 62)|
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
|Political party||Conservative Party of Alberta, Citizens Progressive League, Citizens League|
David Duggan was born in Builth, Wales May 5, 1879. In 1893 he entered the dry goods business, in which he would remain until leaving Wales. In 1902 he married Marian Price; the pair would have four children.
Duggan immigrated to Canada in 1905 to farm near Nanton, Alberta. He moved to Edmonton in 1912 and founded Duggan Investments, Ltd., a firm handling bonds and investments.
Duggan ran for mayor in the 1920 Edmonton election when, despite lacking any previous experience, he defeated incumbent Joseph Clarke. Clarke had become unpopular with the city's Board of Trade and both of its newspapers owing to what they perceived as anti-business policies, and these groups supported Duggan aggressively. While Duggan was mayor, Alberta's first radio station, CJCA, began operations, and Duggan himself concluded its inaugural broadcast by boasting "Edmonton leads the way in all Alberta. Calgary and others follow. That is all. Goodnight." He was re-elected in 1921 and 1922, but did not seek re-election after his last term expired.
His attentions turned to provincial politics, and he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta in the 1926 election as a Conservative in the riding of Edmonton. Duggan succeeded Alexander McGillivray as leader in 1930, and led the party into that year's election. In this election, the Conservatives picked up a seat in Edmonton (taking three of the city's six seats), but were shut out of seats outside of Edmonton and Calgary, as they had been in 1926. Moreover, they lost ground to the rival Alberta Liberal Party in the race to form the official opposition to the governing United Farmers of Alberta. Duggan easily retained his own seat.
The situation worsened for the Conservatives in the 1935 election, when the Social Credit Party of Alberta swept the province, reducing the Conservatives to two members, Duggan and Calgary MLA John Irwin (the other parties fared no better - the Liberals lost six of the eleven seats they had won in 1930, while the UFA, owners of a majority government before the writ was dropped, were eliminated from the legislature completely). In response to this catastrophe, Duggan's Conservatives formed an alliance with the Liberals, the Unity League, whereby candidates of the parties would not run against each other, these were identified as Independents on election results as the Unity League did not have official party status. In the 1940 election, there were nineteen independents elected, including Duggan.
During his last full term in the legislature, Duggan was involved in the Bankers' Toadies incident. He brought to the house's attention a government-sponsored leaflet that named him and eight other men (William Antrobus Griesbach among them) as "Banker's Toadies" and urged readers to "exterminate them". This incident saw two men, including Social Credit MLA Joseph Unwin, prosecuted for criminal libel and counselling murder.
Personal life, death, and legacyEdit
Duggan was active with the Baptist Church, the Rotary Club, the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, and the Red Cross. He died May 4, 1942 while still an MLA. He was buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Edmonton.
In 2004, Edmonton City Council passed a motion directing its Names Advisory Committee to strike a subcommittee whose purpose would be, among other things, to honour Duggan by naming a city feature after him.
- Edmonton Public Library Biography of David Duggan
- City of Edmonton biography of David Duggan[dead link]
- Edmonton Economic Development Corporation's account of CJCA's first broadcast
- History of the "Banker's Toadies" case
- Minutes of the Edmonton City Council meeting at which the Names Advisory Committee was directed to honour Duggan
| Mayor of Edmonton
Kenneth Alexander Blatchford
|Legislative Assembly of Alberta|
John C. Bowen
William Thomas Henry
| MLA Edmonton
Elmer Ernest Roper