By Bradford J. Bradford J.

;From the optimism linked to provincial prestige in 1905, in the course of the trials of melancholy and warfare, the increase instances of the post-war interval, and the commercial vagaries of the Nineteen Eighties and the Nineties, the 20th century was once a time of progress and worry, improvement and alter, for Alberta and its humans. and through the century, twelve males, from quite a few political events and from very varied backgrounds, led the govt. of this province.

The names of some--like William Aberhart, Ernest Manning, and Peter Lougheed--are nonetheless family names, whereas others--like Arthur Sifton, Herbert Greenfield and Richard Reid--have been all yet forgotten. but every one in his targeted method, for greater or for worse, helped to mold and steer the future of the province he ruled. those are their

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At one such meeting at the small town of Anthracite, Brett, who was notorious for being late, did not show up. The audience grew restive, and Sifton decided to give his speech. Still no Dr. Brett. Facing a murmuring audience, Sifton rose again and informed the audience that he had heard Dr. Brett’s speech 22 Arthur Sifton A l b e r TA P r e m I e r s of The 20 Th C e n T u ry many times and that if they would permit he would tell them exactly what Brett would say were he there. He then proceeded to give the speech, with all the good doctor’s stories, essentially verbatim.

He had announced an aggressive, expansionist railway policy. The province was developing highways, telephone lines, and educational facilities at unprecedented speeds, even if demand continued to outstrip capability. Finally, he had demonstrated to the farmers that a Liberal government could respond to agrarian demands. He hoped that these accomplishments would be enough to offset the adverse court decision on the A & GW Railway matter and an international economy already in recession. If he was not a charismatic leader, happily for him 32 Arthur Sifton A l b e r TA P r e m I e r s of The 20 Th C e n T u ry neither was opposition leader Edward Michener.

The sites of seven demonstration farms were announced the following May, one of course being in Vermilion. 27 The reality was that the farmers increasingly were able to press their agenda upon the Sifton government. One triumph was the “single tax,” intended to tax only land value and replace other forms of taxation. The UFA also successfully opposed a Sifton government plan to privatize hail insurance and forced a municipal hail insurance scheme. In 1913, in a so-called “farmers’ session” just before a planned election, the UFA, now with a membership of 14,000, persuaded the government to adopt direct democracy (initiative and referendum) legislation.

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