Thomas Dufferin Pattullo, politician, businessman, public servant, premier of BC 1933-41 (b at Woodstock, Ont 19 Jan 1873; d at Victoria 30 Mar 1956). Though best known as premier of BC during the 1930s, Pattullo had a long, varied career before that. He worked for the Woodstock Sentinel and in 1896 became editor of the Galt Reformer
. His father's Liberal Party connections gained him the position of secretary to J.M. WALSH
, commissioner of the Yukon Territory, in 1897. Pattullo worked in government service in Dawson City until 1902, becoming acting assistant gold commissioner. He then formed a business partnership in real estate and insurance, and for a time was a member of the Dawson City council. In 1908 he moved to Prince Rupert to open a branch office. He was alderman and mayor of the town, and in 1916 was elected to the BC Assembly, becoming minister of lands in the new Liberal government. After the Liberals' defeat in 1928, he became leader of the Opposition. Revitalizing the party, he led it to victory 1933 and became premier.
Faced with the tremendous economic and social problems of the GREAT DEPRESSION, Pattullo was innovative in extending the role of government. His frustration with the limitations of provincial power led to a battle with Ottawa that resulted in a reappraisal of Canadian federalism. After an inconclusive 1941 election, he rejected a coalition with the Conservatives and was rebuffed by his own party. Defeated in 1945 in his old riding of Prince Rupert, he retired to Victoria.
Pattulo, Thomas Dufferin
Premier of BC, c 1930 (courtesy PABC/HP-42569).
M.A. Ormsby, "T. Dufferin Pattullo and the Little New Deal," Canadian Historical Review 43 (1962).