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Cowley, Elwood Lorrie (1944–)

Elwood Cowley.
Saskatchewan Archives Board R-A24786

Born August 2, 1944, Cowley was raised in Kinley, near Perdue. In 1961 he began studies at the University of Saskatchewan, completing a BEd in 1965 and a BA shortly thereafter. Cowley first taught in Assiniboia and later at Thom Collegiate in Regina. Cowley was president of the NDP youth at university and also the provincial NDP youth wing. Cowley was a key organizer for Roy Romanow in the 1970 leadership campaign, and at the leadership convention was elected party treasurer. Cowley was elected in 1971 in Biggar and appointed to Cabinet in 1972 as Minister of Finance. In 1975, Cowley was moved to the portfolio of Provincial Secretary but was also assigned the responsibility to form the Saskatchewan potash Corporation. He introduced controversial legislation to nationalize a portion of Saskatchewan’s Potash Industry. As Minister of Mineral Resources, he expanded the role of government in the oil sector through SaskOil and in the uranium industry through the Saskatchewan mining Development Corporation. He was a central member of Cabinet’s political committee and exercised considerable influence on the government’s priorities and strategy. In 1982 Cowley was defeated along with the NDP government and returned to teaching before he found work as an investment broker in Saskatoon. In 1989 he established his own consulting company in Saskatoon.

Brett Quiring

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Further Reading

Gruending, Dennis. 1990. Promises to Keep: A Political Biography of Allan Blakeney. Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books.
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