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McConnell, Howard (1886–1957)

Howard McConnell.
Saskatchewan Archives Board R-A628

McConnell was born in Springbrook, Ontario, on January 27, 1886. He worked briefly as a teacher after high school and then moved in 1907 to Saskatoon to join his parents. He became the first president of the Student Representative Council at the University of Saskatchewan in 1911. After graduating, he completed a law degree at Osgoode Hall in Toronto and was called to the Saskatchewan Bar in 1916. He operated a legal practice in Saskatoon from 1916 until after World War II and was appointed King’s Council in 1929. McConnell served three terms on Saskatoon City Council between 1919 and 1922 and two terms as mayor in 1922 and 1923. In 1927 he ran successfully for the Conservatives in a provincial by-election in Saskatoon. The 1929 provincial election replaced the Liberals with a Conservative-Progressive coalition led by J.T.M. Anderson at the onset of the Great Depression. McConnell was first named Provincial Treasurer and later Minister of Municipal Affairs. In the former capacity he struggled with plummeting revenues to maintain even basic services, and in the latter he attempted through the Saskatchewan Relief Commission to coordinate relief programs. In the 1934 election every single government supporter was defeated. McConnell returned to his law practice and remained active in community organizations for the remainder of his life. He was a member of the University of Saskatchewan senate for twenty-three years, active in the United Church, and a Mason. McConnell died in Saskatoon on October 9, 1957.

Michael Cottrell

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