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Samuel Mayer "Max" Saltsman (29 May 1921 – 28 November 1985) was a Canadian businessman and politician for the social-democratic New Democratic Party, and served as a Member of Parliament (MP) for the Waterloo South, Waterloo and Waterloo–Cambridge electoral districts from 1964-1979.[2] He quit federal politics in 1979 and worked as a policy advisor until shortly before his death in 1985.

Samuel Mayer "Max" Saltsman
Member of Parliament
In office
9 November 1964 – 24 June 1968
Preceded byGordon Chaplin
Succeeded byriding abolished
ConstituencyWaterloo South
Member of Parliament
In office
25 June 1968 – 8 July 1974
Preceded byriding created
Succeeded byriding abolished
Member of Parliament
In office
9 July 1974 – 26 March 1979
Preceded byriding created
Succeeded byriding abolished
Personal details
Born29 May 1921
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died28 November 1985(1985-11-28) (aged 64)
Toronto, Ontario
Political partyNew Democratic Party
Spouse(s)Dorthy Saltsman (separated 1979)/Ruth Ann Rosenberg[1]
ChildrenTwo sons
ResidenceGalt, Ontario

Early life and educationEdit

The son of Samuel and Sara (née Krier) Saltsman, he was born Samuel Mayer Saltsman on 29 May 1921 in Toronto, but was known as "Max" since he was a young child.[3] He was educated in Spadina area schools, finally leaving Central Technical School at age 14 to get a job to help support his family.[1] He studied part-time, after work hours, and eventually earned his high school credits.[4] He never completed university, but did take courses on and off since he started correspondence courses while serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), and continued on through to his years in parliament.[4] Saltsman served in France, the Netherlands, and Germany with the RCAF during World War II.[2] In 1947, he married Dorothy Gellman.[5] He was president of Galt Dry Cleaning Services and Eastern Coin Operated Enterprise.[5]

Career in politicsEdit

He was first elected to the House of Commons in a 1964 by-election held following the death of MP Gordon Chaplin, and was re-elected in 1965, 1968, 1972 and 1974. Saltsman was the NDP critic for Finance and National Revenue from 1976 to 1977.[2] Saltsman drafted private member's bill C-249, ""An Act Respecting a Proposed Association Between Canada and the Caribbean Turks and Caicos Islands" that proposed that Canada form an association with the Turks and Caicos Islands; however, it was never submitted to a vote.[6]

Prior to federal office, he was an alderman in Galt, Ontario from 1961 to 1964.[6] In 1982, he was named to Bill Davis' Inflation Restraint Board.[7] Saltsman planned to return to municipal politics as a councillor-at-large for Cambridge in 1985, but cancelled these plans at a public news conference on 21 October, where he announced he was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer.[8] Saltsman died in Toronto's Wellesley Hospital on 28 November, two-weeks after the Cambridge municipal election was held.[3]

Electoral recordEdit

1965 Canadian federal election: Waterloo South
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
New Democratic Max Saltsman 13,337 46.15 +1.90
Progressive Conservative Jim Chaplin 9,678 33.49 -2.43
Liberal Reid Menary 5,886 20.37 +0.54
Total valid votes 28,901 100.0
New Democratic hold Swing +2.17
"Waterloo South, Ontario (1867-1968)". History of Federal Ridings Since 1867. Library of Parliament. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
Canadian federal by-election, November 9, 1964: Waterloo South
Death of Gordon Chaplin
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
New Democratic Max Saltsman 12,417 44.25 +17.85
Progressive Conservative Jim Chaplin 10,078 35.92 -5.01
Liberal Rod Stewart 5,563 19.83 -11.52
Total valid votes 28,058 100.0
New Democratic gain from Progressive Conservative Swing +11.43
"Waterloo South, Ontario (1867-1968)". History of Federal Ridings Since 1867. Library of Parliament. Retrieved 6 September 2015.


  1. ^ a b Scotton, Lindsay (1985-10-26). "Max Saltsman still outspoken: Dying politician is rummaging in memories of his log career". The Toronto Star. Toronto. p. A10.
  2. ^ a b c "Saltsman, Max (Biography)". Ottawa: Parliament of Canada. Archived from the original on 2011-11-21. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
  3. ^ a b Downey, Donn (1985-11-29). "Max Saltsman: NDP financial critic embraced odd causes, leapt political fences". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. p. A23.
  4. ^ a b Goar, Carol (1985-10-29). "'Uncalculated honest' was Max Saltsman's trademark". The Toronto Star. Toronto. p. A14.
  5. ^ a b Johnson, J.K. (1968). The Canadian Directory of Parliament 1867-1967. Public Archives of Canada.
  6. ^ a b "Montreal Gazette article".
  7. ^ van Rijn, Nicolaas (1985-11-29). "Ex-MP Max Saltsman, 64 earned name as NDP maverick". The Toronto Star. Toronto. p. A5.
  8. ^ Staff/Canadian Press (1985-10-23). "Ex-MP Saltsman says death is near". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. p. A2.