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‘All’s still well with Angus L.’ in Nova Scotia

The Story

For Angus Lewis Macdonald victory comes in fours. In June 1949, Macdonald and his Liberals are voted into power for the fourth time in Nova Scotia, as heard in this radio report. Four years after leading the Liberal party to the biggest victory in the history of that province, Macdonald is elected premier once again. The Liberals win 26 out of a possible 37 seats. The Progressive Conservatives go from zero to eight seats, making them the official opposition. But it's status quo for the CCF at two seats. 

Medium: Radio
Program: Radio News
Broadcast Date: June 9, 1949
: Frank Doyle
Host: Bill Reid
Duration: 2:22
Photo: Public Archives of Nova Scotia, N935.

Did You know?

• On July 1, 1867, Sir Charles Tupper became the first premier of the new province of Nova Scotia. But he left for federal politics just four days later and was succeeded by Hiram Blanchard. Blanchard was defeated later that year by William Annand and his Anti-Confederation Party (later the Liberal party) in Nova Scotia's first election as a province. Annand was the premier of Nova Scotia from 1867 to 1875.

• Tupper first became the premier of Nova Scotia in 1864, three years before Confederation, as leader of the Confederation Party (later the Conservative party). Tupper would eventually become Canada's sixth prime minister with the shortest term. Tupper was in office from May 1, 1896, to July 8, 1896, less than two months.

• The list of Nova Scotian premiers after Annand:
— Philip Carteret Hill (Liberal) 1875-1878.
— Simon H. Holmes (Conservative) 1878-1882.
— John Sparrow David Thompson (Conservative) 1882.
— William T. Pipes (Liberal) 1882-1884.
— William S. Fielding (Liberal) 1884-1896.
— George H. Murray (Liberal) 1896-1923.
— Ernest H. Armstrong (Liberal) 1923-1925.
— Edgar N. Rhodes (Conservative) 1925-1930.
— Gordon S. Harrington (Conservative) 1930-1933.

• Angus Lewis Macdonald was born in Dunvegan, Nova Scotia, on Aug. 10, 1890. He was elected leader of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party in 1930.
• Macdonald first led the Liberal party to victory in 1933. The then 43-year-old easily beat Premier Gordon Harrington and the Conservatives to become the new Liberal premier in Nova Scotia.

• As premier, Macdonald instituted unemployment relief and old age pensions. He passed laws allowing workers to form trade unions and began a large-scale highway building initiative to create jobs. Macdonald was easily re-elected in 1937 under the campaign slogan

• In 1940, Macdonald left provincial politics to serve in the wartime cabinet of Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. Alexander MacMillan became the interim premier. MacMillan retired from politics in 1945 to allow Macdonald to return to his provincial career.

• In April 1945, Macdonald was elected a third time — leading the Liberal party to its greatest victory in Nova Scotia. Running under the slogan "All's well with Angus L," the Liberals shut out the Tories and left the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), the precursor to the New Democratic Party, with just two seats.

• In the 1949 provincial election, Liberals won 27 seats, the Conservatives nabbed eight and the CCF won two. The number of ridings in Nova Scotia rose from 30 to 37 in 1949.
• Macdonald was the premier of Nova Scotia from September 1933 to July 1940 and again from September 1945 to April 1954. He was responsible for developing a modern highway system in Nova Scotia, including the causeway linking Cape Breton to the mainland and a suspension bridge between Halifax and Dartmouth.

• Macdonald died in office from a sudden heart attack on April 13, 1954.
• More than 100,000 Nova Scotians lined the streets for his funeral procession. Macdonald was described by one newspaper as one of Nova Scotia's "most beloved statesman and scholar."

• Harold Connolly became the interim premier and Liberal party leader following Macdonald's death. He was succeeded by Henry Davies Hicks in the 1954 Liberal leadership convention.
• Robert Stanfield beat Liberal leader Henry Hicks in the 1956 election, becoming the first Conservative Nova Scotian premier in 23-years.



How The East Was Won: Nova Scotia Elections Since 1949 more