Arthur Evans"Slim" (b at Toronto 1890; d at Vancouver 1944). Slim Evans was a colourful socialist and trade union organizer who played the leading role in organizing the ON TO OTTAWA TREK
of 1935. He apprenticed as a carpenter and moved west in 1911 where he soon got caught up in the radical movements of the period. Active in the INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD
, he spent several months of 1912 in a Kansas jail for making radical speeches without a municipal permit for an assembly. Back in Canada, he found work in the Drumheller coal mines and became active in the ONE BIG UNION
. Later, as secretary of the Drumheller district of the United Mine Workers of America, he authorized funds for a wildcat strike in 1923 and spent 3 years in penitentiary after UMWA's American leaders prosecuted him for "embezzlement." He joined the Communist Party in 1926 and became their leading British Columbia organizer of the unemployed during the Depression. He was arrested and charged with membership in an illegal organization (National Unemployed Workers Association) for his role in the On To Ottawa Trek; the charges were later dropped. In his last years, he organized metal miners in Trail, BC, and wartime shipyard workers in BC.
B. Swankey and J.E. Shiels, "Work and Wages!" A Semi-Documentary Account of the Life and Times of Arthur H. (Slim) Evans (1977); V. Howard, We Were the Salt of the Earth ... (1985).