Archive | 25 years ago Stanley Knowles left us, the conscience of parliament


Archives | Stanley Knowles left us 25 years ago, the conscience of parliament

Stanley Knowles served as an NDP Member of Parliament in Ottawa for nearly 40 years.

On June 9, 1997, Stanley Knowles died at the age of 88. A Member of Parliament for nearly 40 years under the NDP banner, Stanley Knowles is one of the most influential politicians in the history of the House of Commons. Our archives bear witness to his great contribution to the creation of the country's social programs.

“With the death today of the former Member of Parliament for Winnipeg, Manitoba, arguably passed away one of the men who did the most to hold governments accountable to the poorest, to the weakest . »

— Bernard Derome

In this report broadcast on the day of his death on Téléjournal, journalist Daniel L'Heureux recalls the memory of this ideal man. He was one of the most respected parliamentarians in Ottawa. He spent 50 years there, 38 of them as the Member of Parliament for Winnipeg North Centre.

Daniel L'Heureux's report on the career of NDP politician Stanley Knowles on the occasion of his death at age 88 years old. The news bulletin is moderated by Bernard Derome.

It was in 1942, within the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), that Stanley Knowles was first elected to the Ottawa Parliament.

The man who has repeatedly been called the conscience of Parliament has advanced multiple causes of social justice in the country. During his career, he was elected 13 times. He campaigns in the factories. The plight of workers, particularly those of the CN and CP railway companies, is close to his heart.

July 1, 1996, Canada Day, The Pointpresents a long report on the career of Stanley Knowles. Journalist Marc-André Masson interviews several parliamentarians and historian Susan Mann.

Marc's report -André Masson on the life and political career of Stanley Knowles, NDP MP for more than 40 years. The show is hosted by Raymond Saint-Pierre.

Stanley Knowles was born in California in 1908 to Canadian parents. At 18, he traveled to Canada and settled in Manitoba, where members of his family operated a farm. He became a pastor for the United Church.

The death of his mother, who died of tuberculosis in 1919, and the dismissal of his father during the economic crisis of the 1930s are events which mark him forever.

After the crisis of the 1930s, he decided to leave religion and go into politics. All his life, he struggled to improve the lot of the poorest. Many see him as the father of the welfare state and of Canadian social programs. Stanley Knowles was partly responsible for establishing an old-age pension scheme.

After the Second World War, assistance to veterans and their family members becomes a constant concern for him.

In 1958, after the conservative wave that brought John Diefenbaker to power, Stanley Knowles joined forces with other leftists to form the New Democratic Party, which succeeded the CCF.

“It will be a party strong enough to become one of the main parties and one day form the government. The ideas are the same. The objective is to build a party that can apply them.

—Stanley Knowles

In Parliament, Stanley Knowles is the master of procedures, which gives him power despite his status as the third opposition. As Gildas Molgat, President of the Senate, mentions in the report, Stanley Knowles knows how to use procedure to provoke debate. Former NDP leader Ed Broadbent agrees.

“Even ministers from other parties would consult him about the parliamentary process. He was the expert in Canada and that was an advantage for New Democrats when it came to tactics in the House of Commons. »

— Ed Broadbent, former leader of the NDP

In October 1981 he suffered a cardiovascular accident from which he would never fully recover. He nevertheless resumed his seat on March 31, 1982, but had to resign himself to leaving it again at the end of 1983. Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau named him an honorary officer of the House of Commons, a unique post in recognition of his contribution to Canadian political and social life.

Stanley Knowles also received the Order of Canada in 1985.

“Stanley Knowles never had ambitions to be leader of the NDP, but he needs to be known, because without politicians like him, we're really screwed. »

— Susan Mann, Historian

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