Lac La Biche (provincial electoral district)

Lac La Biche was a provincial electoral district in Alberta mandated to return a single member to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from 1952 to 1971.[1]

Lac La Biche
Alberta electoral district
Defunct provincial electoral district
LegislatureLegislative Assembly of Alberta
District created1952
District abolished1971
First contested1952
Last contested1968

It replaced the riding of Beaver River and received the north-east parts of Athabasca, including the town of McMurray. It was replaced in 1971 by Lac La Biche-McMurray with minor boundary changes.

Representation HistoryEdit

Members of the Legislative Assembly for Lac La Biche
Assembly Years Member Party
See Beaver River 1913-1952 and Athabasca 1905-1952
12th 1952–1955 Harry Lobay Social Credit
13th 1955–1959 Michael Maccagno Liberal
14th 1959–1963
15th 1963–1967
16th 1967–1968
1968 Vacant
1968–1971 Damase Bouvier Social Credit
See Lac La Biche-McMurray 1971-1986

The district's first MLA was one-term member for the abolished riding of Beaver River, Harry Lobay, who sat with the Social Credit caucus in government. He was defeated in the 1952 election by Liberal Michael Maccagno.

Maccagno defended the riding in three successive elections, and was party leader between 1964 and 1968. He resigned his seat in that year, triggering a by-election which was won by Social Credit candidate Dan Bouvier.

Election resultsEdit


1952 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes %[2]
Social Credit Harry Lobay 1,832 50.55%
Liberal William Hamilton 1,792 49.45%
Total valid votes 3,624
Rejected, spoiled, and declined 184
Electors / Turnout 5,561 68.48%
Social Credit pickup new district.
1955 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Michael Maccagno 1,931 50.83% +1.38%
Social Credit Harry Lobay 1,868 49.17% -1.38%
Total valid votes 3,799
Rejected, spoiled, and declined 98
Electors / Turnout 5,263 74.05% +5.57%
Liberal gain from Social Credit Swing +1.38%

For the 1959 election, rural districts were elected by the first past the post method instead of the previous instant runoff voting. No second round had ever been needed in Lac La Biche, but this change can be seen in the dramatic drop in spoiled (incorrectly marked) ballots.

1959 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Michael Maccagno 1,734 47.34% -3.49%
Social Credit Elwin Woynarowich 1,518 41.44% -7.73%
Progressive Conservative Henry Thompson 411 11.22%
Total valid votes 3,663
Rejected, spoiled, and declined 15
Electors / Turnout 5,263 69.88% -4.17%
Liberal hold Swing +2.12%


1963 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Michael Maccagno 1,809 44.22% -3.12%
Social Credit Elwin Woynarowich 1,479 36.15% -5.29%
New Democratic Henry Tomaschuk 297 7.26%
Progressive Conservative Henry Thompson 260 6.36% -4.86%
Independent Social Credit Rudolph Michetti 246 60.1%
Total valid votes 4,091
Rejected, spoiled, and declined 5
Electors / Turnout 5,235 78.24% +8.36%
Liberal hold Swing +1.09%
1967 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Michael Maccagno 2,212 48.27% +4.05%
Social Credit Harry Lobay 1,613 35.20% -0.95%
New Democratic Fred Ustina 758 16.54% +9.28%
Total valid votes 4,583
Rejected, spoiled, and declined 130*
Electors / Turnout 7,165 63.96% -14.28%
Liberal hold Swing +2.50%
Alberta provincial by-election, August 20, 1968
Upon the resignation of Michael Maccagno
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Social Credit Damase Bouvier 2,765 56.87% +21.67%
Progressive Conservative J. Bergeron 1,238 25.46%
Liberal W. C. Childs 653 13.43% -34.84%
New Democratic R. Stuart 206 4.24% -12.30%
Total valid votes 4,862
Rejected, spoiled, and declined
Electors / Turnout
Social Credit gain from Liberal Swing -1.90%
"By-elections". Elections Alberta. Retrieved May 26, 2020.

Plebiscite resultsEdit

1957 liquor plebisciteEdit

1957 Alberta liquor plebiscite results: Lac La Biche[3]
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 1,059 66.15%
No 542 33.85%
Total Votes 1,601 100%
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 9
4,678 Eligible Electors, Turnout 34.42%

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.[4]

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 woman were allowed to drink together in establishments.[3]

Province wide Question A of the plebiscite passed in 33 of the 50 districts while Question B passed in all five districts. Lac La Biche voted in favour of the proposal with a near landslide majority. Voter turnout in the district was poor, as it fell significantly below the province wide average of 46%.[3]

Official district returns were released to the public on December 31, 1957.[3] The Social Credit government in power at the time did not considered the results binding.[5] However the results of the vote led the government to repeal all existing liquor legislation and introduce an entirely new Liquor Act.[6]

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 that wanted a license had to petition for a binding municipal plebiscite in order to be granted a license.[7]


  1. ^ "Election results for Lac La Biche". Heritage Community Foundation. Archived from the original on 8 December 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Heritage Community Foundation: Election results for Lac La Biche". Archived from the original on 2010-12-08. Retrieved 2016-08-24.
  3. ^ a b c d Alberta Gazette. 53 (December 31 ed.). Government of Alberta. 1957. pp. 2, 247–2, 249.
  4. ^ "Albertans Vote 2 to 1 For More Liquor Outlets". Vol L No 273. The Lethbridge Herald. October 31, 1957. pp. 1–2.
  5. ^ "No Sudden Change In Alberta Drinking Habits Is Seen". Vol L No 267. The Lethbridge Herald. October 24, 1957. p. 1.
  6. ^ "Entirely New Act On Liquor". Vol LI No 72. The Lethbridge Herald. March 5, 1958. p. 1.
  7. ^ "Bill 81". Alberta Bills 12th Legislature 1st Session. Government of Alberta. 1958. p. 40.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit