Samuel Morley Wickett

Samuel Morley Wickett, political economist, leather-goods manufacturer (b at Brooklin, Ont 17 Oct 1872; d at Toronto 7 Dec 1915).

Samuel Morley Wickett

Samuel Morley Wickett, political economist, leather-goods manufacturer (b at Brooklin, Ont 17 Oct 1872; d at Toronto 7 Dec 1915). A graduate of the University of Toronto (1894), he was one of the first Canadians to pursue advanced studies in economics in Europe (Austria, Germany), where the traditions of state planning so impressed him that he became Canada's foremost advocate of employing professional administrators at all levels of government. A pioneer in urban studies and reform, and a lecturer in POLITICAL ECONOMY at U of T (1898-1905), he launched a monograph series on Canadian municipal government and helped found the Toronto Bureau of Municipal Research (1913-82). Elected an alderman in 1913, he prepared a transportation committee report recommending the establishment of a Toronto metropolitan region for planning urban services. He went into business in 1905 and led the CANADIAN MANUFACTURERS' ASSOCIATION in its unsuccessful efforts to secure technical education and a nonpartisan tariff board. Stressing the need for data upon which to base rational decisions, he lobbied for a statistical bureau in Ottawa. Like other Canadian businessmen concerned about urban problems in the period 1895 to 1914, Wickett was an elitist who distrusted popular democracy and opposed extending the franchise. It was exposure to the German ideals of state service and planning based on statistics that made his contributions unique.

See alsoURBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING.