David Milwyn Duggan

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David Milwyn Duggan
David Milwyn Duggan.JPG
Leader of the Conservative Party of Alberta
In office
1930 – May 4, 1942
Preceded by Alexander McGillivray
Succeeded by John Percy Page (after several years of dormancy)
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Edmonton
In office
June 28, 1926 – May 4, 1942
16th Mayor of Edmonton
In office
December 13, 1920 – December 10, 1923
Preceded by Joseph Clarke
Succeeded by Kenny Blatchford
Personal details
Born (1879-05-05)May 5, 1879
Builth, Wales
Died May 4, 1942(1942-05-04) (aged 62)
Edmonton, Alberta
Political party Conservative Party of Alberta, Citizens Progressive League, Citizens League
Spouse(s) Marian Price
Children Four
Profession Businessman, farmer
Religion Baptist
Signature

David Milwyn Duggan (May 5, 1879 – May 4, 1942) was a politician in Alberta, Canada, a mayor of Edmonton, a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, and a leader of the Conservative Party of Alberta.

Early life[edit]

David Duggan was born in Builth, Wales May 5, 1879. In 1893 he entered the dry goods business, in which he would remain until leaving Wales. In 1902 he married Marian Price; the pair would have four children.

Duggan immigrated to Canada in 1905 to farm near Nanton, Alberta. He moved to Edmonton in 1912 and founded Duggan Investments, Ltd., a firm handling bonds and investments.

Municipal politics[edit]

Duggan ran for mayor in the 1920 Edmonton election when, despite lacking any previous experience, he defeated incumbent Joseph Clarke. Clarke had become unpopular with the city's Board of Trade and both of its newspapers owing to what they perceived as anti-business policies, and these groups supported Duggan aggressively. While Duggan was mayor, Alberta's first radio station, CJCA, began operations, and Duggan himself concluded its inaugural broadcast by boasting "Edmonton leads the way in all Alberta. Calgary and others follow. That is all. Goodnight." He was re-elected in 1921 and 1922, but did not seek re-election after his last term expired.

Provincial politics[edit]

His attentions turned to provincial politics, and he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta in the 1926 election as a Conservative in the riding of Edmonton. Duggan succeeded Alexander McGillivray as leader in 1930, and led the party into that year's election. In this election, the Conservatives picked up a seat in Edmonton (taking three of the city's six seats), but were shut out of seats outside of Edmonton and Calgary, as they had been in 1926. Moreover, they lost ground to the rival Alberta Liberal Party in the race to form the official opposition to the governing United Farmers of Alberta. Duggan easily retained his own seat.

The situation worsened in the 1935 election, when the Social Credit Party of Alberta swept the province, reducing the Conservatives to two members, Duggan and Calgary MLA John Irwin (the other parties fared no better - the Liberals lost six of the eleven seats they had won in 1930, while the UFA, owners of a majority government before the writ was dropped, were eliminated from the legislature completely). In response to this catastrophe, Duggan's Conservatives formed an alliance with the Liberals, whereby candidates for both parties would run as independents and would not run against each other. In the 1940 election, there were nineteen independents elected, including Duggan.

During his last full term in the legislature, Duggan brought to the house's attention a government-sponsored leaflet that named him and eight other men (William Antrobus Griesbach among them) as "Banker's Toadies" and urged readers to "exterminate them". This incident saw two men, including Social Credit MLA Joseph Unwin, prosecuted for libel and counseling murder.

Personal life, death, and legacy[edit]

Duggan was active with the Baptist Church, the Rotary Club, the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, and the Red Cross. He died May 4, 1942 while still an MLA. He was buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Edmonton.

In 2004, Edmonton City Council passed a motion directing its Names Advisory Committee to strike a subcommittee whose purpose would be, among other things, to honour Duggan by naming a city feature after him.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Clarke
Mayor of Edmonton
1921-1923
Succeeded by
Kenneth Alexander Blatchford
Legislative Assembly of Alberta
Preceded by
Andrew McLennan
John C. Bowen
Nellie McClung
Jeremiah Heffernan
William Thomas Henry
MLA Edmonton
1926-1942
Succeeded by
Elmer Ernest Roper