Errol Black

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Errol Black
Born (1939-09-06)September 6, 1939
Brandon, Manitoba
Died November 4, 2012(2012-11-04) (aged 73)
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater Brandon College (1963-65), University of Alberta (1965-67), Warwick University (1975-77)
Occupation Politician and author

Errol Black (September 6, 1939 – November 4, 2012) was a university professor and municipal politician in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. He was an activist with the New Democratic Party for several years.[1][2]


Black was born September 6, 1939 in Brandon, Manitoba.[3][4] He taught for many years in the fields of Economics and Industrial Relations at Brandon University, where he later became Professor Emeritus. He was co-editor of such books as Hard bargains : the Manitoba labour movement confronts the 1990s (1991), A square deal for all : historical essays on labour in Brandon (2000) and Building a better world : an introduction to trade unionism in Canada (2001). He has written several pieces for Canadian Dimension magazine, and has done research for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.[5] During the early 1980s, Black argued that university president Harold J. Perkins was ruling the university in an autocratic manner, and supported his removal by the Board of Governors.[6] He later served as president of the Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations in the 1990s.[7]

Political views[edit]

Black supported reforms to the Ontario Labour Relations Act introduced by the government of Bob Rae in the 1990s,[8] and strongly opposed efforts to bring "right-to-work" and workfare legislation into Manitoba.[9] He also wrote in support of Canada's public health care system,[10] criticized the financial dependence of governments on gambling revenues,[11] argued for increases to the minimum wage,[12] and lobbied against spending public money on a new arena for the Winnipeg Jets hockey team in the 1990s.[13] He was a particularly strong critic of the governments of Ralph Klein and Mike Harris.[14]


Black was elected to the Brandon City Council in 1998, and has been re-elected two times since then. He won the New Democratic Party's Brandon—Souris nomination in 2000 over Wayne Langlois, and finished fourth against Tory candidate Rick Borotsik. He was considered to be on the left-wing of the NDP, and opposed the party's drift toward the "Third Way" socialism favoured by Tony Blair.[15]

In 2001, he introduced a motion for Brandon to adopt one of the toughest anti-smoking motions anywhere in Canada.[16] Two years later, he pushed the NDP government of Gary Doer to extend labour rights to farm workers.[17] Two years later, he called for the establishment of urban reserves in Brandon.[18] In 2005, he wrote a piece criticizing the Doer government's record on labour issues.[19]

In the 2010 Municipal Election, Black initially lost his bid to be re-elected by one vote. A recount was done and he was defeated by two votes in the recount.[20]


Black died on Sunday November 4, 2012 at the age of 73. He had been suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease.[21]

Electoral record[edit]

Electoral record
Election Division Party Votes  % Place Winner
1998 municipal Brandon City Council, Ward Nine n/a accl. - 1/1 himself
2000 federal Brandon—Souris New Democratic Party 4,518 12.33 4/6 Rick Borotsik, Progressive Conservative
2002 municipal Brandon City Council, Ward Nine n/a 842 - 1/2 himself
2006 municipal Brandon City Council, Ward Nine n/a accl. - 1/1 himself
2010 municipal Brandon City Council, Ward Nine n/a 540 49.95 -/2 Len J Isleifson


  1. ^ Helen Fallding, "Plight of the right", Winnipeg Free Press, 8 November 2000, A10.
  2. ^ Fernwood Publishing: Errol Black
  3. ^ Manitoba Archival Information Network: Fonds 17-1997, 03-2003, 15-2003 - Errol Black Collection. Accessed 2011-11-28.
  4. ^ "Errol Black, New Democratic Party", "Election 2000", Globe and Mail, accessed 15 October 2000.
  5. ^ Keith McArthur, "Minimum wage hike would affect 63,000", Winnipeg Free Press, 13 June 1998, A3.
  6. ^ Richard Cleroux, "Brandon miracle man under fire", Globe and Mail, 19 August 1983, P1; Errol Black, "Brandon University" [letter], Globe and Mail, 16 September 1983, P6.
  7. ^ Errol Black and Robert Chernomas, "Retirement not the answer", Winnipeg Free Press, 17 May 1995.
  8. ^ Errol Black, "New labour act encourages co-operation" [letter], Globe and Mail, 27 June 1992, D7.
  9. ^ Kelly Taylor, "Iowa woos Manitoba businesses", Winnipeg Free Press, 17 September 1993; Errol Black, "Jobs, not welfare" [letter], Winnipeg Free Press, 10 May 1994, A20.
  10. ^ Errol Black and Ken Hanly, "Two-tier health plan would cost a lot more", Globe and Mail, 25 May 1994, A21.
  11. ^ Errol Black, "Gambling in Manitoba: financing the neoconservative agenda on the backs of the poor", Canadian Dimension, 21 November 1997, 21.
  12. ^ "Two views on hiking minimum wage", Winnipeg Free Press, 14 October 1998, A9.
  13. ^ Nick Martin, "Thin Ice wary about victory", Winnipeg Free Press, 16 August 1995, D1.
  14. ^ Robert Chernomas and Errol Black, "What kind of capitalism? The revival of class struggle in Canada", Monthly Review, 1 May 1996, p. 23.
  15. ^ Kim Guttormson, "NDP's dilemma: how far 'left' to go", Winnipeg Free Press, 29 October 2000, A4.
  16. ^ "Brandon to explore tough smoking ban", Winnipeg Free Press, 14 August 2001, A2.
  17. ^ Helen Fallding, "Changes urged to help farm workers", Winnipeg Free Press, 6 February 2002, A6.
  18. ^ Curtis Brown, "Urban reserves get mixed reaction", Winnipeg Free Press, 12 September 2003, B3.
  19. ^ Errol Black, "Labour should be nervous", Winnipeg Free Press, 24 November 2005, A16.
  20. ^ "Isleifson edges Black by two in recount", Brandon Sun, 10 November 2010
  21. ^ "Errol Black has died", Brandon Sun, 04 November 2012

External links[edit]