Irvine, William

William Irvine, Unitarian minister, MP, journalist, political organizer (b at Gletness, Shetland, Scot 19 Apr 1885; d at Edmonton 27 Oct 1962). Irvine played a significant role in Canadian politics for 50 years, 17 as an MP. He organized Alberta farmers and labour to enter the political arena, and in 1921 was first elected to public office as the federal labour representative from Calgary East. Along with his close friend J.S. WOODSWORTH, at that time the only other labour MP, Irvine conducted a vigorous campaign against the economic power of large corporations and financial institutions. Irvine, Woodsworth and others in the radical GINGER GROUP advocated a form of democratic socialism. Their efforts culminated in the founding of the CO-OPERATIVE COMMONWEALTH FEDERATION (1932). In his later years, Irvine worked tirelessly for world peace and urged the necessity of coexistence among world powers despite differences in ideology.