Jump to content

1917 Edmonton municipal election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 1917 municipal election was held December 10, 1917, to elect a mayor and seven aldermen to sit on Edmonton City Council and four trustees to sit on each of the public and separate school boards. There were also two plebiscite questions asked.

There were ten aldermen on city council, but three of the positions were already filled: George Pheasey, William Martin, and Charles Grant were all elected to two-year terms in 1916 and were still in office. Thomas Bellamy and James Macfie MacDonald were also elected to two-year terms in 1916, but both resigned to run for mayor; accordingly, the sixth most polular and seventh most popular candidates were elected to one year terms to finish off their terms—Samuel McCoppen and Henri Martin were elected to one-year terms. Kinney and McCoppen belonged to the Labour slate put forward by the Labour Representation League and were elected.[1][2] The Labour slate was filled out by White, Field and Scott, all unsuccessful.[3]

There were seven trustees on the public school board, but three of the positions were already filled: Joseph Duggan, C. Frost, and William Rea had all been elected to two-year terms in 1915. The same was true of the separate board, where Joseph Gariépy, M. J. O'Farrell, and G. W. Curtis were all continuing.

The five mayoral candidates were the most in Edmonton's history up to that point.

The Southside was guaranteed to elect two members and as only two southsiders - Orlando Bush and W.W. Prevey - were running, they were secured of victory. Their names were kept on the ballot anyway.[4][5]

Hyman King announced that he would be running for an aldermanic seat but he withdrew his nomination before election day.[6]

There was no Business slate but at least two candidates had a relationship. Esdale published a list of women and men who endorsed his candidacy. The list included fellow candidate W.W. Prevey. As each voter could cast multiple votes, there was no direct competition between Esdale and Prevey.[7]

Electoral System


Mayor was elected through First-past-the-post voting.

Councillors were elected through Plurality block voting, with each voter allowed to cast as many as seven votes.

Voter turnout


There were 7895 ballots cast out of 11,271 eligible voters, for a voter turnout of 70.0%.




Party Candidate Votes %
  Independent Harry Marshall Erskine Evans 3,799 50.10%
  Independent Joseph Clarke 1,791 23.62%
  Independent Samuel Barnes 788 10.39%
  Independent Thomas Bellamy 757 9.98%
  Independent James Macfie MacDonald 448 5.91%
  Total 7583



Labour = Labour Representation League [8]

Party Candidate Votes
  Independent Matthew Esdale 4,199
  Labour James Kinney 4,190
  Independent Charles Wilson 4,000
  Labour Samuel McCoppen 3,578
  Independent Henri Martin 3,327
  Independent Warren Prevey
(South Side)
  Independent Orlando Bush
(South Side)
  Labour T. Scott 2,258
  Labour S. W. Field 2,068
  Labour J. E. White 1,791
  Independent S. Freeman 990
  Total 32,344

Public school trustees

Party Candidate Votes
  Independent Henry Douglas 4,854
  Independent J. A. McPherson 3,815
  Independent Arthur Cushing 3,121
  Independent E. T. Bishop 2,894
  Labour Alfred Farmilo 2,147
  Independent A. L. Marks 1,916
  Independent Joseph Clarke 1,502

Separate (Catholic) school trustees

Party Candidate Votes
  Independent M. Kelly 497
  Independent F. A. French 490
  Independent Joseph Henri Picard 417
  Independent H. J. Roche 387
  Independent Richard Crossland 178


Votes %
Are you in favour of the assessment of
buildings and improvements at a percentage
value not exceeding 25 percent?
For 1,552 46.12%
Against 1,813 53.88%
Are you in favour of a business assessment
equal to the full amount of rental value
of the premises wherein business is carried?
For 3,555 61.36%
Against 2,239 38.64%


  1. ^ Edmonton Bulletin, Dec. 11, 1917
  2. ^ Edmonton Bulletin, Nov. 24, 1917
  3. ^ Edmonton Bulletin, Dec. 7, 1917
  4. ^ Edmonton Bulletin, Dec. 10, 1917
  5. ^ Edmonton Bulletin, Dec. 21, 1917
  6. ^ Edmonton Bulletin, Dec. 4, 1917
  7. ^ Edmonton Bulletin, Dec. 4, 1917
  8. ^ Edmonton Bulletin, December 15, 1917