Arnold Peters

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For the actor with the same name see Arnold Peters (actor)
Arnold Peters
Member of Parliament
for Timiskaming
In office
Preceded by Ann Shipley
Succeeded by Bruce Lonsdale
Personal details
Born May 14, 1922
Uno Park, Ontario
Died September 17, 1996(1996-09-17) (aged 74)
Ottawa, Ontario
Political party Co-operative Commonwealth FederationNew Democratic Party

William Arnold Peters (May 14, 1922 - September 17, 1996) was a Canadian politician. He represented the riding of Timiskaming in the Canadian House of Commons from 1957 to 1980. He was originally elected as a member of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, which became the New Democratic Party in 1961.

Peters, a hard rock miner and union organizer, served in the 124th Ferry Squadron in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II. He also ran in the 1953 election against Karl Eyre in the Timmins riding, but was not elected.

In Parliament, Peters and his caucus colleague Frank Howard were responsible for reforming Canada's divorce laws. In many provinces, divorce proceedings once had to be presented to Parliament for approval; Peters and Howard tried to show the ridiculousness of this by reading each divorce petition into the Commons record in great detail. Peters was also active in prison reform, and regularly lobbied for fairer treatment of non-unionized government employees. He also prepared a private member's bill in 1964 to decriminalize homosexuality in Canada, although the bill never made it to a vote in the House of Commons.[1]

In the 1980 election, Peters was defeated by Liberal candidate Bruce Lonsdale. Lonsdale died in office just two years later; Peters ran again in the resulting by-election, but was not re-elected.

On September 19, 1996, two days after his death, tributes to Peters were delivered in the House of Commons by Bill Blaikie, Diane Marleau and Ed Harper.

Electoral record[edit]

Canadian federal election, 1953: Timmins
Party Candidate Votes % ±
     Liberal Karl EYRE 5,541
     Co-operative Commonwealth Arnold PETERS 4,686
     Progressive Conservative Maurice BÉLANGER 3,348
Labor–Progressive Oscar ROY 369
Canadian federal election, 1957
Party Candidate Votes
     Co-operative Commonwealth Arnold PETERS 6,936
     Liberal Ann SHIPLEY 6,896
     Progressive Conservative C. Foster RICE 5,645
Canadian federal election, 1958
Party Candidate Votes
     Co-operative Commonwealth Arnold PETERS 7,544
     Progressive Conservative C. Foster RICE 7,318
     Liberal Ted J. MIRON 6,118
Canadian federal election, 1962
Party Candidate Votes
     New Democratic Party Arnold PETERS 7,055
     Progressive Conservative Joseph MAVRINAC 6,053
     Liberal Ann SHIPLEY 5,969
Social Credit Gérard MICHAUD 2,665
Canadian federal election, 1963
Party Candidate Votes
     New Democratic Party Arnold PETERS 7,356
     Liberal Mervyn LAVIGNE 6,763
     Progressive Conservative John CRAM 5,540
Social Credit Camil SAMSON 2,033
Canadian federal election, 1965
Party Candidate Votes
     New Democratic Party Arnold PETERS 9,986
     Liberal Mervyn LAVIGNE 5,885
     Progressive Conservative Bruce BESLEY 3,823
Canadian federal election, 1968
Party Candidate Votes
     New Democratic Party Arnold PETERS 8,482
     Liberal Louis-R. VANNIER 7,728
     Progressive Conservative George L. CASSIDY 4,443
Social Credit Alcide-J. HAMELIN 288
Canadian federal election, 1972
Party Candidate Votes
     New Democratic Party Arnold PETERS 11,327
     Liberal Dick DUFF 7,768
     Progressive Conservative Alf GUPPY 3,317
Social Credit Albert BRETON 718
Canadian federal election, 1974
Party Candidate Votes
     New Democratic Party Arnold PETERS 10,263
     Liberal Guy IANNUCCI 6,598
     Progressive Conservative Murray WATTS 4,615
Social Credit Maurice CURE 492
Canadian federal election, 1979: Timiskaming
Party Candidate Votes %
New Democratic Arnold Peters 11,595 40.64
Liberal Pierre Bélanger 10,900 38.20
     Progressive Conservative Grant Sirola 6,036 21.16
Total valid votes 28,531 100.00
Total rejected ballots 149
Turnout 28,680 77.40
Electors on the lists 37,053
Source: Report of the Chief Electoral Officer, Thirty-first General Election, 1979.
Canadian federal election, 1980
Party Candidate Votes
     Liberal Bruce LONSDALE 11,135
     New Democratic Party Arnold PETERS 10,661
     Progressive Conservative Grant SIROLA 4,901
Marxist–Leninist Claudia IRONS 93

Canadian federal by-election, October 12, 1982: Timiskaming
Party Candidate Votes %
     Progressive Conservative John MacDougall 9,029 35.74
Liberal Pierre Bélanger 8,341 33.02
New Democratic Arnold Peters 7,654 30.30
     Independent Richard Peever 236 0.93
Total valid votes 25,260 100.00
Total rejected ballots 111
Turnout 25,371 69.00
Electors on the lists 36,771
Called after Mr. Lonsdale's death.


  1. ^ Donald W. McLeod, Lesbian and Gay Liberation in Canada: A Selected Annotated Chronology, 1964-1975. ECW Press, 1996. ISBN 1-55022-273-2.

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