Abram Harrison

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Abram William Harrison (July 15, 1898[1] in Holmfield, Manitoba[2] – November 14, 1979) was a politician in Manitoba, Canada. He was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 1943 to 1966, initially as a Conservative and later as a Progressive Conservative, after the party changed its name. He served as a cabinet minister in the government of Dufferin Roblin.[1]

The son of William S. Harrison and Maria Wilkinson, Harrison was educated in Holmfield, and was the manager of Harrison Milling and Grain Co. before entering politics. He was also a member of the Killarney Lodge. In 1937, he married Amelia Sutherland.[2]

He was first elected to the Manitoba legislature in a by-election on July 22, 1943, in the constituency of Killarney.[1] The Liberal-Progressives and Conservatives governed Manitoba in a grand coalition during this period, and Harrison served as a backbench supporter of Stuart Garson's ministry.

Notwithstanding the coalition, some Liberal-Progressives ran against Progressive Conservative incumbents in the 1945 provincial election. Harrison narrowly fended off a challenge from LP candidate G.M. Harrison, winning by only 150 votes on the second count of a preferential ballot. He was re-elected again in the 1949 election,[1] easily defeating an anti-coalition maverick from the Liberal-Progressives.

The Progressive Conservatives left the coalition government in 1950. Harrison moved to the opposition benches, and was re-elected in the 1953 election.[1] He appears to have supported Errick Willis against a leadership challenge from Dufferin Roblin in 1954.

The Progressive Conservative Party formed a minority government under Dufferin Roblin following the 1958 election. Harrison defeated Liberal-Progressive candidate Walter E. Clark by 238 votes in the redistributed constituency of Rock Lake, and was appointed by Roblin as Speaker of the Manitoba legislature on October 23, 1958.[1] The opposition Liberals opposed Harrison's appointment, on the grounds that Roblin should have consulted with opposition leaders before making his selection. He was nonetheless confirmed, and was regarded as a good if unspectacular office-holder.

Harrison defeated Clark a second time in the 1959 election, and was retained in the Speaker's chair.[1]

Harrison defeated Liberal candidate Harry Parsonage by 429 votes in the 1962 election. He was replaced as Speaker on February 27, 1963, and formally entered Roblin's government as a minister without portfolio. He retained this position until May 15, 1966, and did not contest the 1966 election.[1]

He died at home in Holmfield at the age of 81.[2]

Family[edit]

His grandson, Scott Newman, is the Liberal Party candidate for Radisson at the 2016 Manitoba provincial elections.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "MLA Biographies - Deceased". Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. Archived from the original on 2014-03-30. 
  2. ^ a b c "Abram William Harrison (1898-1979)". Memorable Manitobans. Manitoba Historical Society. Retrieved 2013-05-07.