Harry Graham (Manitoba politician)

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For other people with the same name, see Harry Graham (disambiguation).

Harry Edward Graham (December 26, 1921 in Foxwarren, Manitoba - September 21, 2006 in Russell, Manitoba[1]) is a retired politician in Manitoba, Canada. He served as a Progressive Conservative member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 1969 to 1986.[2]

The son of George Malcolm Graham and Margaret Leckie, he was educated at the University of Manitoba, and worked as a farmer after his graduation. Graham served as Vice-Chairman of the Russell District Hospital, and was also the President of the Progressive Conservative Association in the federal riding of Marquette. In 1951, he married Velma Louise Murdoch.[3]

He first entered politics while helping a friend, Dr. Vern Rosnoski, who was a dentist, run for office. After Rosnoski couldn't find a dentist to take over his practice who could use left-handed tools, Graham ran in his place.[4]

He was first elected to the Manitoba legislature in a by-election on February 20, 1969, defeating Liberal Edward Shust in the riding of Birtle-Russell.[5] The riding had previously been held by the Liberals, and Graham's victory provided an impetus for Progressive Conservative Premier Walter Weir to call a general election later in the year.

The Tories were defeated by the New Democratic Party in this election, and Graham nearly lost his own seat to NDP candidate Donald Kostesky. He was re-elected again by a slightly greater margin in the 1973 election, which the NDP also won.[2]

The Progressive Conservatives returned to power in the 1977 election until Sterling Lyon, as Graham again narrowly increased his margin of victory in Birtle-Russell. He was not appointed to cabinet,[2] but rather served as the Speaker of the legislature from November 24, 1977 until 1981.[1]

In 1980, Graham presided over the temporary expulsion from the legislature of Robert Wilson, who had been convicted of a criminal offence. Wilson was permanently expelled in 1981.

Graham won the easiest re-election victory of his career in the election of 1981, running in the redistributed riding of Virden. Ironically, this occurred as the Progressive Conservatives lost government to the NDP. Graham served as an opposition member for the next five years, and did not seek re-election in 1986.[2]

He died at Russell District Hospital after a lengthy illness.[6]

Electoral record[edit]

Manitoba general election, 1969: Birtle-Russell
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
     Progressive Conservative Harry Graham 2,374 39.59
New Democratic Donald Kostesky 2,263 37.74
Liberal John Braendle 1,360 22.68
Total valid votes 5,997 100.00
Rejected and discarded votes 12
Turnout 6,009 72.47
Electors on the lists 8,292

Manitoba provincial by-election, February 20, 1969: Birtle-Russell
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
     Progressive Conservative Harry Graham 2,117 46.46 $1,500.98
Liberal Edward Shust 1,406 30.85 $2,476.39
New Democratic Donald Kostesky 1,034 22.69 $1,248.00
Total valid votes 4,557 100
Rejected and discarded votes 23
Turnout 4,580 76.30
Electors on the lists 6,003


  1. ^ a b "Memorable Manitobans: Harry Edward Graham (1921-2006)". The Manitoba Historical Society. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "MLA Biographies - Deceased". Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  3. ^ "CPA Activities: The Canadian Scene". Canadian Parliamentary Review. 1 (1). June 1978. Retrieved 2013-12-11. 
  4. ^ "Hansard". Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. September 16, 2008. Retrieved 2013-12-11. 
  5. ^ Graham defeated high-school teacher Harvey Smith and St. Lazare electrician Todd Dupont for the nomination. See Winnipeg Free Press, 10 January 1969, pp. 1, 10.
  6. ^ "Harry Graham". Winnipeg Free Press. September 28, 2006. Retrieved 2013-12-11.