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David Lewis

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About David Lewis:

David Lewis worked for years for the CCF, but he came into his own when it became the New Democratic Party. Campaigning against "corporate welfare bums" in 1972, David Lewis led the NDP to hold the balance of power in the resulting Liberal minority government. David Lewis and the NDP supported the introduction of a national affordable housing strategy, a new Elections Expenses Act, pension indexing, and the creation of Petro-Canada and the Foreign Investment Review Agency.

Federal NDP Leader:

1971-75

Birth:

June 23, 1909 in Swislocz, Poland. In 1921 David Lewis came with his family to Montreal, Quebec.

Death:

May 23, 1981 in Ottawa, Ontario

Education:

  • Law degree - McGill University, Montreal
  • Rhodes Scholar at Oxford

Profession:

Labour lawyer

Political Affiliation:

Riding:

York South

Political Career of David Lewis:

  • David Lewis was the national secretary to the CCF from 1936 to 1950. He ran for parliament several times, but was defeated.

  • David Lewis returned to the practice of law in 1950, but he continued to keep close ties with the CCF.

  • By 1961, David Lewis had helped transform the western farm-based CCF into the federal New Democratic Party.

  • David Lewis was first elected to the House of Commons as an NDP MP in 1962.

  • He was elected NDP leader in 1971, replacing Tommy Douglas.

  • In the 1972 general election, David Lewis and the NDP campaigned against "corporate welfare bums" and won 31 seats. The NDP held the balance of power in the Liberal minority government.

  • David Lewis lost his seat in the 1974 general election, and he retired from politics in 1975.

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