George Spence

George Spence, homesteader, politician, civil servant (b at Birsey, Orkney I, Scot 25 Oct 1879; d at Regina 4 Mar 1975).
George Spence, homesteader, politician, civil servant (b at Birsey, Orkney I, Scot 25 Oct 1879; d at Regina 4 Mar 1975).


George Spence

George Spence, homesteader, politician, civil servant (b at Birsey, Orkney I, Scot 25 Oct 1879; d at Regina 4 Mar 1975). As first director of PRAIRIE FARM REHABILITATION ADMINISTRATION (PFRA), Spence initiated land rehabilitation, soil conservation and water development programs in the Prairie region. He immigrated to Canada in 1900 after receiving his education in England and Edinburgh. He staked a gold claim in the Yukon, farmed near MacGregor, Man and worked as a survey engineer for the CPR before homesteading S of Swift Current, Sask in 1912.

Spence's political career began in 1917, when he won the provincial riding of Notukeu for the Liberals. He held the seat until 1925, when he resigned to successfully seek federal election as the member from Maple Creek. He attended one session of Parliament. When the federal government resigned, Spence returned to Saskatchewan and re-entered provincial politics. He won a provincial by-election in Maple Creek in 1926. He remained in the legislature until 1937, serving as minister of highways, labour and industry 1926-29; as a member of the Opposition 1929-34; and as minister of Public Works 1934-39. In 1938 he was appointed director of PFRA, a post he held for 9 years. From 1947 to 1957 he served on the INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION. His many awards and recognitions included Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1946.