Tuesday September 02, 2014

First Premier of Saskatchewan, Walter Scott

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We have seen so far in the temperance and prohibition story of Saskatchewan, that women had gained a political voice as never before. Women felt that they could play a more influential role in improving life in their province, and along with asking for the closing of bars, they also lobbied to be granted the right to vote.

Premier Walter Scott had another reason to listen to groups wanting total prohibition, it was the advent of war in August 1914. It gave a new powerful turn in the campaign. John Archer says in the book Saskatchewan A History: Prohibition could be equated with patriotism. Time, material and effort devoted to liquor could better be used in the war drive.

However, there was still opposition to total prohibition. Evangelical Protestant Churches were in full support, but Anglicans and Lutherans were divided, while Catholics were largely opposed. Premier Scott took time to make his decision. He was considering the financial fallout, knowing that hotel owners would suffer financially and so would their employees. Therefore he did not want to enact legislation to be effective during the winter and thus he waited to put Prohibition into effect July 1, 1915. Still in power in 1916, Scott then granted women the right to vote.

Walter Scott had been appointed first Premier of Saskatchewan in 1905 by Amédée Forget, who was the last Lieutenant-Governor of the old North West Territories, and on September 1, 1905 was appointed by the Governor General as first Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan.

Contact Terri Lefebvre Prince,
Heritage Researcher,
City of Yorkton Archives,
Box 400, 37 Third Avenue North
Yorkton, Sask. S3N 2W3



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