Stanley Waters

From Academic Kids

Stanley Charles Waters (commonly referred to as Stan Waters) (born June 14, 1920 -died September 25, 1991) was Canada's first, and so far only, elected Senator.

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba Waters enlisted in the Canadian army in 1941 and chose to remain in the military after the war. He rose steadily through the ranks and ended his career as a Lieutenant-General and Commander of the Canadian Forces Mobile Command (1973-75). In 1975 he joined Mannix organization at Calgary, becoming president of Loram Group, a subsidiary of the mother company. He was a co-founder of the Bowfort Group of companies, which engage in farming, real estate and investment operations throughout Western Canada. He held a variety of executive positions until his retirement from business in 1989.

Stan Waters was also keenly interested in Canadian politics, and in 1987 Waters became a founding member of Preston Manning's Reform Party of Canada. While Waters did not choose to participate as a Reform Party candidate in the federal election of 1988, he was seen as one of the party's most popular early spokesmen and policy communicators, speaking at numerous party rallies and events from 1987 to 1991.

In 1989, under strain from the troubling and complex wrangling surrounding the Meech Lake Accord constitutional amendment talks and pressured by Alberta Premier Don Getty, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney agreed to appoint to the Canadian Senate any individual who could win a province-wide "Senate Election" in Alberta. Stan Waters came forward as the Reform Party candidate for the open Alberta Senate seat. On October 16, 1989 he received 53% of the over 620,000 votes cast by Albertans in his bid to go to Ottawa as the first elected Canadian Senator in the country's history. He represented the Senate Division of (Alberta).

On June 11, 1990 Stan Waters was sworn in as Canada's first democratically elected Senator. He was also the first and only representative of the Reform Party in the Upper House. During his yearlong tenure as a Senator, Waters spoke for Western Canadian and conservative values. He pushed for an end to official bilingualism, urged healthcare reform, opposed federal funding grants to artists and fervently pushed the Mulroney Government to adopt a "Triple-E Senate" (Elected, Effective and Equal) during the constitutional debates of 1990-91.

In September 1991, Waters suffered a bad heart attack and died. When the federal Liberals were returned to power in the 1993 election under party leader Jean Chretien, Senate Reform was all but abandoned and since then no other Senator has been elected, despite repeated elections held in Alberta to select them.


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