Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sifting Through Premier Arthur Sifton

Rory J. Koopmans, B. Admin., #23, 9731-174 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T5T 6G4

July Xth, MMXIV

Hon. Jeff Johnson, B. Ed., MLA, Minister of Education, Progressive Conservative, Athabasca-Sturgeon-RedH2O

Dear Jeff:

Our IInd Premier, The Right Hon. Arthur L. Sifton, PC, KC, Liberal was quite an interesting fellow. Arthur served both as the Ist Chief Justice of Alberta & then later Premier from MCMXIII-MCMXVII (1910-17.) Sort of a reverse of XXVIIth President of the United States William Howard Taft, Republican-Ohio. Taft became President first & then later the Xth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Arthur of course being a "KC" rather than a "QC" as King George the Vth was ruler at the time he was sworn in as Premier. At the time Arthur was appointed royally as a "QC" or "Queen's Counsel" because Queen Victoria was on the throne, upon her death & her heir being male, then anyone with a QC behind their name becomes a KC (King's Counsel) & the reverse if a male monarch dies & a female one takes over except it would be "KC" to "QC."   

- Arthur like several of his successors here was born in Ontario, in Arva to be exact. He & his wife Mary would have two children: Nellie & Lewis. He worked in real estate for awhile but eventually graduated law school & became a lawyer.

- Arthur was a product of Ontario public schools, going to his schools as a youngster in Dundas & high school in London. He also had a Master of Arts from Victoria College & a Bachelor of Laws from the University Of Toronto.

- Arthur created agricultural colleges as Premier to give farming students & their family's the proper training they needed to work family farms.

- The MCMXVII Provincial Election was like that of today some 95 years later. Extreme voter apathy caused the Liberals to win another majority term, but many candidates won by acclamation as frustrated voters stayed home due to all the scandals. Of course Arthur having been a judge when the scandals took place wasn't tainted with them.

- Arthur became a federal cabinet minister in the Unity Coalition government of Conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden & as such was sworn into the "Imperial Privy Council." Thus like Don Mazankowski & Herb Gray, he was made a "Right Honourable" in title despite having never been Prime Minister himself.

Administratively Smart,


Source: "The Mantle Of Leadership: Premiers Of The North West Territories And Alberta." C. MMVI, Jessica J. Craig, Author.


  1. Good take on Rutherford. However it's the humanities and social sciences library that is named after him. The U of A's John A. Weir Memorial Law Library is named after John Alexander Weir, who was dean of the law faculty.