The policies and legislation of the United Farmers of Alberta government, 1921 - 1935

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In 1921, at the height of the farmers' revolt, the United -Farmers of Alberta government came to power in Alberta. Although elected as farmers to represent farmers, the members of the UFA caucus shared a wide variety of business and professional experience. For a majority of its time in office the government was led by a corporate lawyer. The government was concerned with more than just agrarian interests, and contrary to what might have been expected from a party spawned by the UFA organization, its record was neither progressive nor particularly innovative. During its first term in office the government cancelled relief programmes, rejected demands for monetary reforms, and only reluctantly took a role in the development of railways in the province. At the same time it fully promoted efforts by farmers to help themselves through cooperative marketing. During its second term the government sold the provincial railways, and allowed private industry to develop hydro-electric power in the province. It also showed its reluctance to expand its role in the social welfare field. It delayed opting into the federal old age pension scheme and refused to institute unemployment insurance or a provincial health insurance scheme. The UFA government continued its policy of nonintervention during its last years in power. It relinquished ownership of the rural telephone system in favour of cooperative companies; and it delayed implementing depression relief programmes. It dismissed social credit as another impractical monetary reform scheme. In 1935, after fourteen years in office, the UFA government was defeated by the Social Credit League which had promised to ease depression conditions.
Bibliography: p. 140-144.
Kooyman, S. M. (1981). The policies and legislation of the United Farmers of Alberta government, 1921 - 1935 (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from doi:10.11575/PRISM/17179