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Charles Stewart in 1940

Charles Stewart (1868–1946) was a Canadian politician who served as the third Premier of Alberta from 1917 until 1921. As premier, Stewart tried to hold together his Liberal Party, which was divided by the Conscription Crisis of 1917. He endeavoured to enforce prohibition, which had been enshrined in law by a referendum during the premiership of his predecessor, Arthur Sifton, but found that the law was not widely enough supported to be effectively policed. His government took over several of the province's financially troubled railroads, and guaranteed bonds sold to fund irrigation projects. Several of these policies were the result of lobbying by the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA), with which Stewart enjoyed good relations; even so, the UFA was politicized during Stewart's premiership and ran candidates in the 1921 election. Unable to match the UFA's appeal to rural voters, Stewart's government was defeated at the polls and he was succeeded as premier by Herbert Greenfield. After leaving provincial politics, Stewart was invited to join the federal cabinet of William Lyon Mackenzie King, in which he served as Minister of the Interior and Mines. He served in King's cabinet until 1930, when the King government was defeated. He died in December 1946 in Ottawa. (more...)

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