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Richard Gavin Reid

Premier of Alberta, Canada

Died when: 101 years 274 days (1221 months)
Star Sign: Capricorn


Richard Gavin Reid

Richard Gavin "Dick" Reid (17 January 1879 – 17 October 1980) was a Canadian politician who served as the sixth premier of Alberta from 1934 to 1935.

He was the last member of the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) to hold the office, and that party's defeat at the hands of the upstart Social Credit League in the 1935 election made him the shortest serving premier to that point in Alberta's history.

Born near Glasgow, Scotland, Reid worked a number of jobs as a young adult—including wholesaler, army medic (during the Second Boer War), farmhand, lumberjack and dentist—and immigrated to Canada in 1903.

He involved himself in local politics and joined the recently formed UFA, which nominated him to run in the 1921 provincial election as its candidate in Vermilion.

The UFA won the election, and Reid served in several capacities in the cabinets of premiers Herbert Greenfield and John Edward Brownlee, where he established a reputation for competence and fiscal conservatism.

When a sex scandal forced Brownlee from office in 1934, Reid was the caucus' unanimous choice to succeed him as premier.

When Reid took office, Alberta was experiencing the Great Depression.Reid took measures to ease Albertans' suffering, but believed that inducing a full economic recovery was beyond the capacity of the provincial government.

In this climate, Alberta voters were attracted to the economic theories of evangelical preacher William Aberhart, who advocated a version of social credit.

Despite Reid's claims that Aberhart's proposals were economically and constitutionally unfeasible, Social Credit routed the UFA in the 1935 election;Reid's party did not retain a single seat.

Reid lived forty-five years after his defeat, but these years were spent in obscurity; he never returned to political life.

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