William Hutton (Manitoba politician)

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For other people named William Hutton, see William Hutton (disambiguation).

The Rev. William John Hutton is a clergyman, community activist and former politician in Manitoba, Canada. He was one of the last members of the Metropolitan Council of Greater Winnipeg, serving from 1969 until its dissolution at the end of 1971.


Hutton was ordained as a minister in the Anglican Church of Canada in the 1960s, and worked as a high school guidance counsellor in the same period.[1] He later co-founded the Jocelyn House for the terminally ill,[2] and has been an honorary assistant at Winnipeg's St. Michael and All Angels Church for many years.[3]


Hutton was a candidate of the New Democratic Party of Manitoba (NDP) in the 1966 provincial election, and finished third against Progressive Conservative candidate Donald Craik in the central Winnipeg division of St. Vital. He was later the federal New Democratic Party's candidate for Winnipeg South in the 1968 Canadian general election, and placed third against Liberal James Richardson.[4] He sought the provincial NDP's nomination for a 1971 by-election in St. Vital, but lost to Jim Walding.[5]

Hutton was elected to the Metropolitan Council of Greater Winnipeg in the 1968 Winnipeg election, winning as an NDP candidate in the ninth ward. Veteran NDP politician Lloyd Stinson described Hutton's victory as unexpected, and described Hutton as "young, enthusiastic and controversial".[6] He ran for mayor of the unified city of Winnipeg in the 1971 municipal election, but finished a distant third against Stephen Juba.[7]

Hutton was a vocal opponent of the Manitoba's government decision to establish official English-French bilingualism in the early 1980s. He argued that this would not reflect Manitoba's multicultural status, and would instead create "a lopsided bicultural province, where on one side of the coin there exists a small, powerful, monolithic French ethnolinguistic community and on the other side a heterogeneous, multicultural polyglot collection of assorted ethnic and linguistic communities".[8] Hutton further argued that entrenching French-language services would encourage cultural and political separatism, and that he opposed it in the same way that he opposed the Parti Québécois's campaign for an independent Quebec.[9] Unlike some other opponents of bilingualism, Hutton was himself fluent in French and supported a strong francophone presence within Canada.[10]

Hutton was councillor Harvey Smith's campaign manager in the 1998 Winnipeg municipal election, and supported Glen Murray's successful bid to become mayor. He later broke with Murray, due in part to the mayor's treatment of downtown development issues.[11]


Hutton opposed the construction of a hockey arena in downtown Winnipeg in the late 1990s and early 2000s, arguing that it would be detrimental to the city. He argued that a multi-sport facility should instead be built east of Main Street.[12] He also opposed the creation of a drug treatment centre in Winnipeg's Central Park area, arguing that it had only recently shed its reputation as a drug- and crime-invested region.[13]

Hutton traveled to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1996, and appealed for overseas sponsors of Serb children whose lives had been disrupted by the country's wars of secession.[14] He was later a vocal opponent of the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, and argued that Kosovo's Serb population was being "ethnically cleansed" by Albanians who wanted to make Kosovo an Albanian province.[15] He noted that NATO bombed several industrial buildings in Kosovo that released dangerous chemicals into the air, and added "[t]here are people that are going to be very cold this winter because we blew up the heating plants in Belgrade".[16]

Electoral record[edit]

1971 Winnipeg municipal election, Mayoredit
Candidate Total votes  % of total votes
Stephen Juba 139,174 69.68
Jack Willis 49,014 24.54
William Hutton 8,536 4.27
Gordon Anderson 2,765 1.38
Peter Shewchenko 230 0.12
Total valid votes 199,719 100.00

1968 Winnipeg municipal election, Metro Councillor, Ward Nineedit
Party Candidate Total votes  % of total votes
New Democratic William Hutton 5,106 43.78
Greater Winnipeg Election Committee J. Ross White 4,739 40.63
Independent William Hawryluk 1,819 15.59
Total valid votes 11,664

Hawryluk's votes were transferred as follows: Hutton 721, White 681. 417 votes were not transferred.

Party Candidate Total votes  % of total votes
New Democratic William Hutton 5,827 51.81
Greater Winnipeg Election Committee J. Ross White 5,420 48.19
Total valid votes 11,247
Canadian federal election, 1968: Winnipeg South
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal James Richardson 23,457 53.11
     Progressive Conservative Bud Sherman 15,209 34.44
New Democratic William Hutton 5,499 12.45
Total valid votes 44,165 100.00
Total rejected ballots 228
Turnout 44,393 82.63
Electors on the lists 53,726


  1. ^ Lloyd Stinson, Political Warriors, (Winnipeg: Queenston House Publications), 1975, p. 297.
  2. ^ Russell Doern, The Battle Over Bilingualism, (Winnipeg: Cambridge Publishers), 1985, p. 112. Although flawed in some respects, Doern's book contains reliable biographical information about his allies on the anti-bilingualism side. See also p. 20, where Doern describes Hutton as bearing a strong resemblance to J.S. Woodsworth.
  3. ^ Clergy, The Parish Church of St. Michael and All Angels, accessed 19 September 2009.
  4. ^ History of Federal Ridings since 1867: WINNIPEG SOUTH (1968/06/25), Parliament of Canada, accessed 19 September 2009.
  5. ^ Ian Stewart, Just One Vote: Jim Walding's nomination to constitutional defeat, (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press), 2009, p. 30. Walding won on the first ballot.
  6. ^ Stinson, p. 297.
  7. ^ 1966 - 1995 MAYORALTY RESULTS, City of Winnipeg, accessed 19 September 2009.
  8. ^ Frances Russell, The Canadian Crucible, (Winnipeg: Heartland Associates), 2003, p. 375.
  9. ^ Russell, p. 383.
  10. ^ This is confirmed in Doern, The Battle Over Bilingualism, p. 112.
  11. ^ Leah Hendry, "Friends become foes in mayoral race", Winnipeg Free Press, 8 October 2002, A1.
  12. ^ William Hutton, "Downtown arena ignores residents" [letter], Winnipeg Free Press, 18 December 1998, A15; Paul McKie, "Meeting tries to build coalition to save Eaton's", Winnipeg Free Press, 6 June 2001, A4. (available by subscription to http://newspaperarchive.com/)
  13. ^ William Hutton, "Central Park area neglected by city" [letter], Winnipeg Free Press, 10 February 1999, A11; David O'Brien, "City board gives OK to detox centre; Furious neighbours fear drugs will return", Winnipeg Free Press, 26 March 1999, A3.
  14. ^ "Sponsors for Serb children of war sought". Anglican Journal. 122 (5). 1996.  (subscription required)
  15. ^ Blair, Kathy (31 October 1999). "Serbs are real victims, priest says". Anglican Journal. Archived from the original on 6 July 2014. 
  16. ^ Adele Novak, "NATO's impact on Kosovo discussed", Winnipeg Free Press, 23 October 1999, A12. In 2001, Hutton wrote a short article in support of Hutton's Serb population. See Hutton, William (31 March 2001). "Letters: Hardships can push faithful towards God: Propaganda". Anglican Journal. Archived from the original on 6 July 2014.