Canada 150 Edmonton Trivia Contest – Municipal Politics

This post has the answers for last week’s trivia questions on Municipal Politics. The next set of questions on the Military in Edmonton are now available!

Welcome to the Canada 150 Edmonton Trivia Contest! Today we’re releasing the next set of 10 questions – Military in Edmonton. Sets of 10 questions will be released every Friday between now and June 23.

Questions can be answered using this online form and completed forms are entered into two draws. See full contest details, including prizes, in our March 14 blog post.

EA-207-80 City Hall and Cenotaph  1987
EA-207-80 City Hall and Cenotaph 1987

Municipal politics is always engaging and has the most direct impact on citizens. Day to day conditions of living are affected by the decisions of City Council – from whether our water is fluoridated to how often the streets are plowed in the winter.  

Edmonton originally elected their mayor and councillors every year – and the positions were held in addition to whatever other business the councillors did to make their living. The pay would certainly never attract candidates but the values of community service and duty ensured that many individuals ran for civic office. Gradually the length of the term increased as the citizens expectations of the Councillors rose to being full time and more, and their pay rose in conjunction with the demands of the office. Very few other positions report to so many “supervisors” and require the hours and public appearances as do the roles of municipal politicians.

EA-160-889 Election Day in Beverly 1934
EA-160-889 Election Day in Beverly 1934

1. Who was the Town of Edmonton’s first Mayor?

A. Matt McCauley
B. Herbert Charles Wilson
C. Kenneth W. MacKenzie
D. Don Iveson

2. Who has been mayor more than once, but never actually elected as mayor?

A. Kenny Blatchford
B. Stephen Mandell
C. Terry Cavanagh
D. William Short

In the first instance Mayor Hawrelak died in office and the Council held an internal vote to elevate an alderman (Cavanagh) to the mayor’s chair. In the second case, Mayor Lawrence Decore resigned to run for provincial office as leader of the Alberta Liberals.

ET-18-117 Fort Edmonton Park - Annual Meeting - Fort Edmonton Historical Foundation - Key Ceremony - Alderman Terry Cavanagh addresses group 1974
ET-18-117 Fort Edmonton Park – Annual Meeting – Fort Edmonton Historical Foundation – Key Ceremony – Alderman Terry Cavanagh addresses group 1974

3. Which Mayor was nicknamed “Fighting Joe”?

A. Mayor Hawrelak
B. Mayor Dent
C. Mayor Roper
D. Mayor Clarke

4. Who was the longest serving mayor?

A. Sidney Parsons
B. William Hawrelak
C. Harry Ainlay
D. Cec Purves

EA-10-2373 Mayor Wm. Hawrelak 1958
EA-10-2373 Mayor Wm. Hawrelak 1958

5. Who was the mayor who served for the shortest period of time?

A. Frederick John Mitchell
B. Ambrose Bury
C. David Milwyn Duggan
D. Dan Knott

Like Cavanagh, Mitchell was elevated to the Mayor’s chair to replace Mayor Hawrelak, who was forced to resign in September, 1959. He returned to finish the Aldermanic term he was serving when Elmer Roper was elected mayor in October 1959. He was the longest serving alderman when he retired in 1964 – never having lost an election.

6. How many City Councillors does Edmonton currently have?

A. 8
B. 10
C. 12
D. 14

EA-10-1789 Edmonton City Council 1897
EA-10-1789 Edmonton City Council 1897

7. In what year did Edmonton stop holding annual elections?

A. 1929
B. 1963
C. 1968
D. 1971

The transition to longer terms also involved creating a ward system – rather than electing aldermen from a general pool. In the ward system the city was divided into zones. Either the top three (or when more wards were added) the top two candidates served their ward. This meant that the voters chose between fewer candidates – but they could be held accountable for issues which were specific to the particular area of the city where they ran for office.

EA-600-1337j Results of Election 1948
EA-600-1337j Results of Election 1948

8. Michael Phair was Edmonton’s first openly gay City councilor. In what year was he elected?

A. 1989
B. 1992
C. 1995
D. 1998

9. The citizens of Edmonton first elected a woman as mayor in 1989. Who was she?

A. Jan Reimer
B. Barbara Hanley
C. Charlotte Whitton
D. Helen Hunley

For almost all of the first hundred years of Town and City Councils the mayors were all male. There were the occasional women elected to the Council after thirty years but they were often only 1 term successes related to a particular issue. The franchise (right to vote) was extended from male property owners (which barred many new immigrants – especially visible minorities who were unable to purchase property or get business licenses) to include the female relatives of service military men at the end of the First World War. Gradually, all women became eligible to vote, and then other men who were renters or had employment (even if they didn’t own their own business) were added in to generally increase the eligible voters.

10. Who became the first woman elected as councillor on December 12, 1921?

A. Margaret Crang
B. Izena Ross
C. Emily Murphy
D. Louise McKinney

Good luck with the next batch of questions about the Military in Edmonton, you have until Thursday, May 18 at midnight to answer them and be entered in the contest!