Dorise Winifred Webber Nielsen (July 30, 1902 – December 9, 1980) was a Canadian politician and teacher.
Born in England, Nielsen arrived in Canada and settled in Saskatchewan in 1927 to work as a teacher and married a homesteader the same year.
She joined the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation in 1934 and was a CCF campaign manager during the 1938 provincial election. By 1937, she joined the Communist Party of Canada but did not disclose her membership until 1943 remaining a member of the CCF until her riding association was dissolved in 1939 because of its support of a popular front campaign with the Communists.
She was the first member of the Communist Party of Canada to be elected to the Canadian House of Commons, serving during World War II. She was the third woman elected to Canadian Parliament and the first to still be raising young children while holding political office. She won a seat in the 1940 federal election representing the Saskatchewan riding of North Battleford on the "Unity" or "United Progressive" label, beating the Liberal candidate in a two-way race. Because of Communist opposition to the war the Canada became the only western democracy to ban the Communist Party in June 1940. Nielsen, through indirect contact with Montreal-based Communist leaders who had escaped imprisonment, became a spokeswoman for the Communist Party through speeches made in the House of Commons.
When the Labor-Progressive Party was officially formed in 1943 as a legal front for the still banned Communist Party, Nielsen declared her affiliation with the party and was elected to its national executive committee. She ran for re-election in the 1945 election for the Labor-Progressive Party (the name the Communist Party would use until 1959), but came in third behind the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation and Liberal candidates with 13% of the vote.
- Faith Johnston (2006). A great restlessness. Univ of Manitoba Press. ISBN 978-0-88755-690-6.
- Faith Johnston: The Communists, the CCF and the Popular Front, Seventh Annual Robert S. Kenny Prize Lecture, May, 2007
- Dorise Nielsen
- Dorise Nielsen – Parliament of Canada biography
- Francis et al. Destinies: Canadian History Since Confederation, 5th Ed. Thomson/Nelson Canada Ltd., 2004. pg 287.
|Parliament of Canada|
Cameron Ross McIntosh
|Member of Parliament for North Battleford