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Langley, George (1852–1933)

George Langley.
Saskatchewan Archives Board R-A250

Langley was born November 10, 1852, in Essex, England. He came to Canada in 1893 and homesteaded near Rosthern, later establishing a large farm in the Maymont district. He was elected as a Liberal to the first Saskatchewan Legislature in 1905, representing Redberry. While in the Legislature, Langley was also elected to the executive of the Saskatchewan Grain Growers Association (1910–17). Premier Walter Scott had him negotiate with the Interprovincial Council of Grain Growers about grain storage facilities throughout the province. Langley was appointed to the Saskatchewan Commission of Inquiry to investigate the elevator system that recommended the province provide financial backing for the Saskatchewan Co-operative Elevator Company that was incorporated by an act of the Legislature in 1911. Langley was elected to the co-operative’s board of directors at its first general meeting, and in 1914 was elected vice-president. In 1921 he assumed the presidency that he held until 1924. Scott appointed Langley to Cabinet in 1912 as Minister of Municipal Affairs, a position he held until 1921. He revamped the Hail insurance system. Langley was a strong proponent of the Canadian Wheat Board. He advocated the pooling of Saskatchewan grain and the amalgamation of existing farmers’ Co-operatives. Langley was defeated in 1921 in Redberry but successfully contested a deferred election in Cumberland. Shortly after, Premier William Martin asked Langley for his resignation because Langley had attempted to exert pressure on a provincial magistrate. Langley resigned from Cabinet and a year later resigned from the Legislature. His relationship with the Liberal Party deteriorated after this point. In 1925 he returned to the SGGA executive as vice-president and advocated that the organization field candidates in the provincial election, a position he had steadfastly opposed while in the Liberal Party. Langley attempted a political comeback in 1929 when he contested the Redberry constituency as an independent Liberal but lost to the official Liberal candidate. He died on August 26, 1933.

Brett Quiring

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