Riley was born in 1866 in Yorkville, Ontario. He owned a large sum of land that he sold off to the City of Calgary in 1904. The land was developed into the historical Hillhurst-Sunnyside community northwest of Downtown.
Resignation and defeat
After serving a year into his second term he resigned his seat to protest the leadership of Arthur Sifton who became leader of the Liberal party in the wake of the Alberta and Great Waterways Railway scandal. Riley would run in the subsequent by-election on October 3, 1910 The Conservatives did not run a candidate in that by-election instead choosing to support Riley.
Explaining his resignation in a memorable stump speech on September 30, 1910 Riley was quoted as saying
I tell you, I am a Liberal, but I believe in the brand of Liberalism by and for the people. I am not afraid of the people and I could not continue to sit in the house at Edmonton without giving the people a chance to express themselves.
- Margaret Tanko (1978). "Hillhurst-Sunnyside remembers" (PDF). Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association. Retrieved 2007-08-01.[dead link]
- "Liberals Stand Back of Riley". Calgary Herald. October 1, 1910. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
- "Futile Efforts Of Machine Organ To Distort Facts". Calgary Herald. October 2, 1910. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
- "Past By-elections". Elections Alberta. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
- "Riley Park". City of Calgary. Archived from the original on 2007-06-16. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
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Archibald J. McArthur