CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Susan Mann Trofimenkoff.

Saskatoon, Western Producer Prairie Books, c1982.
226pp, cloth, $17.95.
ISBN 0-88833-100-2.

Grades 10 and up.
Reviewed by A. L. Florence.

Volume 11 Number 3.
1983 May.

Few Canadian politicians can equal the record of Stanley Knowles, the member from Winnipeg North Centre, an urban, blue collar riding, once the area of the 1919 General Strike. Continuously since 1942, except for four years following the 1958 Diefenbaker landslide, Knowles has represented his riding and has been called the conscience of Parliament on injustices or wrongdoing. His knowledge of parliamentary rules and procedures has earned him the respect and admiration of his political colleagues. His passion for social justice for the poor, the disadvantaged, and the elderly are universally acknowledged.

Based on a series of extensive interviews with Knowles himself, this biography pegs specific dates in Knowles' political life, dates that mark the achievements of a lifetime devoted to the cause of the underprivileged, the day the Trans-Canada Pipe Line profiteers were exposed, the day old age pensions rose to $50 per month, the day Knowles was offered the Speaker's chair and turned it down.

An outstanding member of a party that has never formed a federal government, Knowles of the New Democratic Party has nevertheless exerted power in the House of Commons through his persistent devotion to the cause of the underprivileged. From his birth in Los Angeles in 1908, to his emigration to Canada at the age of eighteen, through his college days at Brandon University to his early days as a minister, and his conversion to the social gospel, his story shows the shaping of his political consciousness and the achievements of social progress through persistent devotion to the principles for which he stands. A unique figure in Canadian political life, Stanley Knowles has become the most respected man in the House of Commons.

This volume provides a vivid picture of his personality and an excellent portrayal of how much may be accomplished by a determined man of principle on the opposition side of Parliament.

A.L. Florence, Winnipeg, MB.
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