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Northwest Territories Liberal Party

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  • Andrew Graham Ballenden Bannatyne (1829 - 1889)
    ANDREW GRAHAM BALLENDEN BANNATYNE (1829-1889)======Apprentice Clerk with the Hudson's Bay Company, 1843-51, and afterwards Canadian politician, fur trader and First Citizen of Winnipeg, Manitoba===Andr...

The Northwest Territories Liberal Party was a short-lived branch of the Liberal Party of Canada in the Northwest Territories.


The party existed between 1898 and 1905. In 1905, the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan were created from the heavily populated areas of the Northwest Territories. The members of the NWT Liberal Party joined the Alberta Liberal Party or the Saskatchewan Liberal Party. With almost no voting population in the remaining parts of the Northwest Territories, its political parties disbanded when the Government of Canada returned to its former policy of appointing members of the Territories' legislative assembly The assembly went back to the consensus model of government.

The consensus model of government that had been used prior to the election of 1898 had its influences in the party system: Conservative leader and Government Leader Frederick W. A. G. Haultain appointed two Liberals to his cabinet and one Conservative, even though they formed the opposition, from 1898 to 1905. This led Conservatives to accuse the government of being a "grit hive", after the election of 1902. To appease party supporters, Haultain appointed one Liberal and two Conservatives to the cabinet.

The Calgary Herald attacked the Territorial Liberals in October 1902, after they held a convention in which they failed to adopt policies towards the creation of a provincial government. This set off a bitter editorial war against the Liberal and Conservative media.

Robert Brett was the Leader of the party from the beginning until, he made a surprise move to drop out of the race just days before the election of 1902. Donald H. McDonald, filled his place, and became leader of the opposition, until the provinces were created in 1905.

Leaders of the Party

  • Robert Brett (1897–1902)
  • Donald H. McDonald (1902–1905)