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Kuziak, Alex Gordon (1908–)

Alex Kuziak.
Saskatchewan Archives Board R-A7977, © M.West, Regina, West’s Studio Collection

Born October 15, 1908, in Canora, Alex Kuziak was educated in Canora, Yorkton, and Saskatoon. After spending a couple of years employed in odd jobs in Canada and the United States, he returned to Saskatchewan in 1930 to attend Normal School in Regina. Kuziak returned to Canora to teach, although he left teaching five years later to become secretary-treasurer of the rural municipality of Keys. He also operated a real estate and insurance office in Canora and was the senior partner of Canora Electric and Heating. He served on the Canora School Board, Canora Union Hospital Board and on local Co-operatives. Active in the CCF from its formation, Kuziak was elected in Canora in 1948. Re-elected in 1952, he was appointed to Cabinet as Minister of Telephones and Minister in charge of the Government Finance Office, the holding company for most of Saskatchewan’s Crown Corporations. After re-election in 1956, Kuziak was moved to the Mineral Resources portfolio where he remained until his defeat in 1964. The provincial parks system expanded significantly under his stewardship. Kuziak was also instrumental in the creation of the Saskatchewan Fisheries Co-operative that helped to expand Saskatchewan’s northern fishing industry. In 1965, Kuziak ran for office again as the NDP candidate in the federal riding of Yorkton but was defeated. He was elected as an alderman for the city of Yorkton in 1971 and served one term. An excellent orator, Alex Kuziak was the first person of Ukrainian origin to serve in a Canadian Cabinet. A provincial government building in Yorkton, where he lives, is named after him.

Brett Quiring

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