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Bradshaw, John Ernest (1866–1917)

John Bradshaw was born on the Isle of Wight on December 13, 1866. He immigrated to Canada with his family as a teenager. In 1891 he joined the Hudson’s Bay Company which appointed him manager of its branch in Prince Albert where he met and married Agnes Thompson in 1894. They had five children. Bradshaw left the HBC in 1900 to establish an insurance business in Prince Albert. He served as alderman from 1895 to 1905 and became mayor of the city in 1906. A year later he ran unsuccessfully for the Provincial Rights (Conservative) Party in a by-election in Prince Albert, but defeated the sitting member, W.F.A. Turgeon, in the general election of 1908. He won the seat as a Conservative in other elections. He raised the question of votes for women in the Legislature in 1912 and kept pressing it until the Scott government introduced enabling legislation in the 1916 session. He accused Liberal Cabinet Ministers and backbenchers of accepting bribes. He demanded and won three Royal Commissions to investigate his charges. By the time they reported Premier Scott and four Liberal members had resigned and two others had been expelled from the Legislature. In the election of 1917, Conservative representation at Regina dropped, and Bradshaw himself was defeated in part due to the national Conservative’s determination to introduce conscription. Bradshaw’s recruitment of an infantry battalion during the war and his willingness to act as its colonel, did him no good politically. He died on Christmas day, 1917.

Patrick Kyba

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Further Reading

Smith, David E. 1998. “Bradshaw, John Ernest.” Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Toronto: University of Toronto Press; Saskatchewan Archives Board. J.E. Bradshaw Papers. A-35. Saskatoon; Ward, N. and D.E. Smith. 1990. Jimmy Gardiner: Relentless Liberal. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
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