Joseph Unwin

Joseph Henry Unwin (September 15, 1892 – January 4, 1987) was a politician from Alberta, Canada. He served in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from 1935 to 1940 as a member of the Social Credit Party.

Joseph Henry Unwin
Joseph Unwin portrait.png
MLA for Edson
In office
Preceded byChristopher Pattinson
Succeeded byAngus James Morrison
Personal details
BornSeptember 15, 1892
DiedJanuary 4, 1987(1987-01-04) (aged 94)
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Political partySocial Credit

1935 electionEdit

Unwin ran in the 1935 Alberta general election as the Social Credit candidate in the electoral district of Edson. He defeated incumbent Labor Party member Christopher Pattinson and Liberal candidate J.S. Cowper.[2] Unwin's party formed the provincial government and he served as a backbencher in the Legislative Assembly.

The "Bankers' Toadies" leafletEdit

In 1937 the Social Credit government was having problems in trying to implement its monetary policies. Premier William Aberhart, frustrated over increasing newspaper criticism, attempted to enact legislation that would have forced newspapers to print rebuttals to stories that the government found objectionable. After this failed, the government devised a plan to produce literature to distribute among the populace of Alberta. Unwin and government advisor George Powell created what became known as the "Bankers' Toadies" leaflet. The leaflet, produced as an official publication of the Alberta government, urged members of the public to "exterminate" prominent bankers and politicians who were standing in the way of Social Credit monetary reform. Among those listed were Senator William Griesbach and Conservative Party leader David Milwyn Duggan.

Powell and Unwin were arrested and charged with libel and counseling murder. Their trial became known as the Bankers' Toadies trial. Unwin was convicted and sentenced to hard labor, though his sentence was later overturned on appeal.[3]


After the highly publicized trial, Unwin ran for a second term in the 1940 general election. He was defeated by Labor candidate Angus James Morrison.[4] He did not return to provincial politics.[5]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Edson electoral district 1935 general election". Alberta Heritage. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-07-31.
  3. ^ "Great Alberta Law Cases: 1937 Bankers Toadies Trial". Alberta Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 31 July 2007.
  4. ^ "Edson electoral district 1940 general election". Alberta Heritage. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 31 July 2007.
  5. ^ "Joseph Unwin, 94 jailed while MLA". 8 January 1987.

External linksEdit