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James Garfield Gardiner

James Garfield Gardiner
4th Premier of Saskatchewan
In office
February 26, 1926 – September 9, 1929
MonarchGeorge V
Lieutenant GovernorHenry William Newlands
Preceded byCharles A. Dunning
Succeeded byJames T.M. Anderson
In office
July 19, 1934 – November 1, 1935
MonarchGeorge V
Lieutenant GovernorHugh Edwin Munroe
Preceded byJames T.M. Anderson
Succeeded byWilliam John Patterson
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan for North Qu'Appelle
In office
June 25, 1914 – June 19, 1934
Preceded byJohn Archibald McDonald
Succeeded byDistrict abolished
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan for Melville
In office
June 19, 1934 – November 1, 1935
Preceded byDistrict established
Succeeded byErnest Walter Gerrand
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Assiniboia
In office
January 6, 1936 – March 26, 1940
Preceded byRobert McKenzie
Succeeded byJesse Pickard Tripp
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Melville
In office
March 26, 1940 – March 31, 1958
Preceded byWilliam Richard Motherwell
Succeeded byJames Norris Ormiston
Personal details
Born(1883-11-30)November 30, 1883
Farhuquar (South Huron), Ontario
DiedJanuary 12, 1962(1962-01-12) (aged 78)
Balcarres, Saskatchewan
Political partySaskatchewan Liberal
Other political
affiliations
Liberal
Spouses
Rosetta Jane Gardiner
(m. 1912⁠–⁠1917)
Violet McEwen
(m. 1917⁠–⁠1944)
Isabella (Scott) Christie
(m. 1944⁠–⁠1962)
ProfessionFarmer, educator
NicknameJimmy

James Garfield Gardiner PC (30 November 1883 – 12 January 1962) was a Canadian farmer, educator, and politician. He served as the fourth premier of Saskatchewan, and as a minister in the Canadian Cabinet.

Political career

Gardiner was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan in 1914, served as Minister of Highways (1922–1926) in the government of Premier Charles A. Dunning from 1922, and succeeded Dunning as premier in 1926. A highly-partisan Liberal, his government lost its majority in the legislature in the 1929 election both from patronage scandals and partly through an anti-French, anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant campaign waged by the Ku Klux Klan.[1] Although the Conservative Party had won fewer seats, it was able to defeat the Gardiner government through a motion of no confidence and then formed a "co-operative government" with the support of some Progressive Party and independent Members of the Legislative Assembly.

As Leader of the Opposition, Gardiner accused James Anderson's Conservative government of bigotry and alleged that it was linked with the Klan.[2] Gardiner defeated Anderson in the 1934 election and became premier a second time. In 1935, he was involved in negotiations to end the On-to-Ottawa Trek in Regina.

Gardiner left provincial politics later in 1935 to join the federal cabinet of Liberal Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King as Minister of Agriculture. He was elected to the House of Commons a few months later. Gardiner held the agriculture portfolio for 22 years until the 1957 federal election resulted the Liberal government bring defeated. Gardiner also served as the first Minister of National War Services, during July 12, 1940 – June 10, 1941.[3] Gardiner was a powerful figure in both the King and St. Laurent governments.

In 1947, he was sworn of the Imperial Privy Council, which allowed him use of the prenominal honorific The Right Honourable.

Gardiner ran for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada at the 1948 Liberal leadership convention but lost to Louis St. Laurent. He remained in the House of Commons of Canada until he lost his seat in the 1958 Diefenbaker sweep.

Personal life

Gardiner was married three times: first to Rosetta Jane Gardiner in 1912, then to Violet McEwen in 1917 and finally to Isabella (Scott) Christie in 1944. His son James Wilfrid Gardiner served in the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly.[4] His other son, Pilot Officer John Edwin (1919–1942), serving with Number 403 Squadron, RCAF, was killed in action while providing air cover and support during the Dieppe Raid on August 19, 1942.[5] The Gardiner family farm was near Lemberg, Saskatchewan.

Legacy

As premier of Saskatchewan in 1928, Gardiner championed the Saskatchewan Sanitoria and Hospitals Act, the first legislation to provide free hospitalization and treatment for victims of tuberculosis anywhere in North America. It was passed unanimously by the provincial legislature on January 1, 1929, and is probably one of his least-known legacies to Saskatchewan public policy.[6]

As Minister of National War Services during World War II, Gardiner made a way for conscientious objectors in Canada to perform alternate, non-military service. After a delegation from Canada's Anabaptist peace churches was stymied by deputy ministers, they approached Gardiner directly, where they got a much warmer reception; as Gardiner was a member of the United Church of Canada, which is also theologically committed to global peace. The National War Services Regulations were amended by Parliament on December 24, 1940, to allow for alternate service.[7]

Saskatchewan's Gardiner Dam, declared open on June 21, 1967, is named after him.

In 2006, the CBC agreed to pull the movie Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story from all broadcasts in response to criticism about its portrayals of Gardiner.[8]

Electoral history

Saskatchewan general elections, 1929 and 1934

Gardiner led the Liberal Party in two general elections, in 1929 and 1934. The 1929 election resulted in a Conservative minority government, but Gardiner won the 1934 election with a majority government.

1929 General election

Gardiner had succeeded Dunning as premier in 1926, and led the Liberals into the general election in 1929. Although Gardiner and the Liberals won pluralities in the popular vote and seats in the Assembly, they did not hold a majority. Gardiner chose to face the Assembly in hopes of obtaining sufficient support from some of the opposition members to maintain his government, but he lost a vote on a confidence matter and resigned. He was replaced as premier by James Anderson, whose Conservative Party held the second-greatest number of seats.

Saskatchewan General Election: June 6, 1929
Party Leaders Seats Won Popular Vote Popular Vote Percentage
Liberal James Garfield Gardiner1 28 164,487 45.56%
Conservative James Anderson2 24 131,550 36.44%
  Independent 6 32,729 9.06%
Progressive 5 24,988 6.92%
Liberal–Labour 0 4,181 1.16%
  Economic Group 0 1,942 0.54%
  Independent Liberal 0 1,160 0.32%
Total 63 361,037 100.00%
Source: Elections Saskatchewan — Elections Results — 1929

1 Premier when election was called; lost confidence motion in the Assembly after the election; resigned as Premier and became Leader of the Opposition.
2 Co-Leader of the Opposition when the election was called; became Premier after successful non-confidence vote.

1934 General election

Gardiner remained leader of the Liberals and led them into the 1934 election, at the depths of the Great Depression. The Liberals won a substantial majority government, taking fifty of the fifty-five seats in the Legislative Assembly. The election was a crushing defeat for the Conservatives under Anderson, who failed to win a single seat. The Farmer-Labour Party won five seats and formed the Opposition.

Saskatchewan General Election: June 19, 1934
Party Leaders Seats Won Popular Vote Popular Vote Percentage
Liberal James Garfield Gardiner1 50 206,212 48.00%
  Farmer-Labour M. J. Coldwell2 5 102,944 23.96%
Conservative James Anderson3 0 114,923 26.75%
  Independent 0 2,949 0.69%
Labour 0 1,420 0.33%
  United Front 0 1,053 0.24%
  Independent Liberal 0 133 0.03%
Total 55 429,634 100.00%
Source: Elections Saskatchewan — Elections Results — 1934

1 Leader of the Opposition when election was called; Premier after the election.
2 Party leader during the election, but failed to win seat; role as Leader of the Opposition taken by George Hara Williams
3 Premier when election was called; lost seat in the election and retired.

Saskatchewan constituency elections

Gardiner stood for election to the Legislative Assembly seven times, once in a by-election and in six general elections. He was elected six times in the constituency of North Qu'Appelle, and the seventh and last election in the constituency of Melville. He was elected twice by acclamation, and five times in contested elections.[9]

1914 By-election: North Qu'Appelle

Provincial By-Election, June 25, 1914: North Qu'Appelle
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal E James Garfield Gardiner 1,171 56.79%
  Conservative William Ernest Read 891 43.21%
Total 2,062 100.00%
Source: Saskatchewan Archives — Election Results by Electoral Division — North Qu'Appelle[9]

The by-election was called on the resignation of the sitting Conservative member, John Archibald McDonald, who admitted to "corrupt practices" by his agent in the 1912 general election.[10]

E Elected.

1917 General election: North Qu'Appelle

Saskatchewan General Election, June 26, 1917: North Qu'Appelle
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal E X James Garfield Gardiner 1,827 59.49%
Conservative George Wilson Balfour 1,244 40.51%
Total 3,071 100.00%
Source: Saskatchewan Archives — Election Results by Electoral Division — North Qu'Appelle[9]

E Elected.
X Incumbent.

1921 General election: North Qu'Appelle

Saskatchewan General Election, June 9, 1921: North Qu'Appelle
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal E X James Garfield Gardiner Acclaimed
Total
Source: Saskatchewan Archives — Election Results by Electoral Division — North Qu'Appelle[9]

E Elected.
X Incumbent.

1922 By-election: North Qu'Appelle

Provincial Ministerial By-Election, June 5, 1922: North Qu'Appelle
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal E X James Garfield Gardiner Acclaimed
Total
Source: Saskatchewan Archives — Election Results by Electoral Division — North Qu'Appelle[9]

The by-election was called on Gardiner accepting the position of Minister of Highways in the Cabinet of Premier Dunning, an office of profit under the Crown, on April 5, 1922.
E Elected.
X Incumbent.

1925 General election: North Qu'Appelle

Saskatchewan General Election, June 2, 1925: North Qu'Appelle
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal E X James Garfield Gardiner 2,370 60.71%
Progressive Caleb H. Fisher 1,534 39.29%
Total 3,904 100.00%
Source: Saskatchewan Archives — Election Results by Electoral Division — North Qu'Appelle[9]

E Elected.
X Incumbent.

1929 General election: North Qu'Appelle

Saskatchewan General Election, June 6, 1929: North Qu'Appelle
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal E X James Garfield Gardiner 2,752 59.79%
Conservative Walter Weston 1,448 31.46%
Progressive Richard McSweeney 403 8.75%
Total 4,603 100.00%
Source: Saskatchewan Archives — Election Results by Electoral Division — North Qu'Appelle[9]

E Elected.
X Incumbent.

1934 General election: Melville

Saskatchewan General Election, June 19, 1934: Melville
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal E X James Garfield Gardiner 4,989 59.23%
Conservative Elisha Forest Scharf 1,930 22.91%
Farmer–Labour Wilfrid Wass 1,504 17.86%
Total 8,423 100.00%
Source: Saskatchewan Archives — Election Results by Electoral Division — Melville[9]

E Elected.
X Incumbent.

Federal constituency elections, 1936 to 1958

Gardiner stood for election to the House of Commons seven times from 1936 to 1958, in two different Saskatchewan ridings (Assiniboia originally, and then Melville for the next six elections). He was elected six times. After his defeat in the 1958 election, he retired from politics.

1936 By-election: Assiniboia

Federal By-election, 1936: Assiniboia, Saskatchewan
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal E James Garfield Gardiner 7,282 66.21%
  Co-operative Commonwealth Federation William Irvine 3,717 33.79%
Total 10,999 100.00%
Source: Library of Parliament: Assiniboia

By-election called after the sitting Liberal MP, Robert McKenzie, accepted an office of profit under the Crown on December 9, 1935.

E Elected.

1940 General Election: Melville

Federal Election, 1940: Melville, Saskatchewan
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal E James Garfield Gardiner 10,158 48.29%
  Co-operative Commonwealth Federation Louise Lucas 9,042 42.98%
  National Unity Gilbert Henry Bartlett 1,837 8.73%
Total 21,037 100.00%
Source: Library of Parliament: Melville

E Elected.

1945 General Election: Melville

Federal Election, 1945: Melville, Saskatchewan
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal E X James Garfield Gardiner 10,095 50.07%
  Co-operative Commonwealth Federation Helmer John Benson 10,067 49.93%
Total 20,162 100.00%
Source: Library of Parliament: Melville

E Elected.
X Incumbent.

1949 General Election: Melville

Federal Election, 1949: Melville, Saskatchewan
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal E X James Garfield Gardiner 11,120 58.61%
  Co-operative Commonwealth Federation William James Arthurs 6,388 33.67%
Progressive Conservative Thomas William Drever 1,465 7.72%
Total 18,973 100.00%
Source: Library of Parliament: Melville

E Elected.
X Incumbent.

1953 General Election: Melville

Federal Election, 1953: Melville, Saskatchewan
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal E X James Garfield Gardiner 10,024 50.02%
  Co-operative Commonwealth Federation Percy Ellis Wright 8,092 40.38%
Progressive Conservative James Norris Ormiston 1,142 5.70%
Social Credit Louis Wendell 783 3.91%
Total 20,041 100.01%1
Source: Library of Parliament: Melville

E Elected.
X Incumbent.
1 Rounding error.

1957 General Election: Melville

Federal Election, 1957: Melville, Saskatchewan
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal E X James Garfield Gardiner 7,949 40.63%
  Co-operative Commonwealth Federation John Burton 7,590 38.80%
Progressive Conservative James Norris Ormiston 2,596 13.27%
Social Credit David Mercier 1,429 7.30%
Total 19,564 100.00%
Source: Library of Parliament: Melville

E Elected.
X Incumbent.

1958 General Election: Melville

Federal Election, 1958: Melville, Saskatchewan
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Progressive Conservative E James Norris Ormiston 8,440 42.60%
  Co-operative Commonwealth Federation John Burton 5,698 28.76%
Liberal X James Garfield Gardiner 5,673 28.64%
Total 19,811 100.00%
Source: Library of Parliament: Melville

E Elected.
X Incumbent.

References

  1. ^ Latimer, Kendall (August 18, 2017). "KKK history challenges idea Sask. always welcomed newcomers: expert". CBC Saskatchewan. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
  2. ^ "Canadian viewers of HBO's 'Watchmen' should know the KKK helped bring down a provincial government in 1929". The Conversation. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  3. ^ "Profile – Gardiner, James Garfield". Parlinfo. Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  4. ^ "James G. Gardiner fonds". Saskatchewan Archival Information Network. Archived from the original on 2017-10-08. Retrieved 2012-06-30.
  5. ^ Pilot Officer John Edwin Gardiner's service file at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa.
  6. ^ Houston, C. Stuart (1991). RG Ferguson Crusader against Tuberculosis. Toronto: Hannah Institute & Dundurn Press. p. 82.
  7. ^ Krieder, Robert S.; Goossen, Rachel Waltner (1988). Hungry, Thirsty, a Stranger: The MCC Experience. Scottdale, Pennsylvania: Herald Press. pp. 61–62. ISBN 0-8361-1299-7.
  8. ^ "CBC pulls Tommy Douglas movie". CBC News. June 12, 2006. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Saskatchewan Archives — Election Results by Electoral Division.
  10. ^ Ernest J. Chambers, Canadian Parliamentary Guide (1915).
Party political offices Preceded byCharles A. Dunning Leader of the Liberal Party of Saskatchewan 1926–1935 Succeeded byWilliam John Patterson
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James Garfield Gardiner
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