Born near Lucknow, Ontario, on September 4, 1873, Valens came west in 1895, attended Brandon Collegiate and normal school in Winnipeg, taught in Estevan, and then graduated from Manitoba Medical College in 1905. He practised medicine in Saskatoon, delivered over 5,000 babies—most of them at home—and was director of the cancer clinic from 1936 to 1944. He was narrowly defeated as one of two Liberal candidates for the two-member Saskatoon City constituency in the provincial election of 1921, though his running mate, Archibald McNab, was elected at that time.
Valens was president of the Saskatchewan division of the Canadian Medical Association from 1919 to 1920. He was on the council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of saskatchewan from 1933 to 1944, as well as its registrar in 1945. He was also a member of the University of Saskatchewan senate from 1922 to 1946, of the Saskatoon Collegiate board from 1915 to 1924, and a member of the board of Saskatoon City Hospital for many years. His chief legacy is his collection of biographies of early Saskatchewan medical doctors, summarized in a series of articles in Saskatchewan Medical Quarterly (1942–51), and now available in the Saskatchewan Archives. He died in Saskatoon on June 28, 1955.
C. Stuart Houston