McGeer, Gerald Grattan

Gerald Grattan McGeer, "Gerry," lawyer, politician, mayor of Vancouver 1935-36, 1947 (b at Winnipeg 6 Jan 1888; d at Vancouver 11 Aug 1947). He first distinguished himself as counsel for BC on freight-rate hearings in the 1920s which brought enduring financial benefits to BC. Elected mayor of Vancouver in 1934 by a landslide, his 2-year term was marked by tragedy and triumph: the riots of the unemployed, the ON-TO-OTTAWA TREK, the serious waterfront strike, the desperate plight of Vancouver citizens; conversely the highly successful Golden Jubilee Celebrations of 1936 and, culminating his mayoralty, construction of the superb city hall. He gave Vancouver a sense of destiny.

Twice elected to Parliament, and appointed senator in 1945, he chafed at federal politics and, after being re-elected mayor in 1947, died in office. An early proponent of monetary reform, mixing Keynesian economics with SOCIAL CREDIT theories of Major Douglas, he, with his powerful oratory, became a national figure.