Notley, Walter Grant

 Walter Grant Notley, political leader (b at Didsbury, Alta 19 Jan 1939; d near High Prairie, Alta 19 Oct 1984). He was raised on a farm and shortly after graduating from the University of Alberta (1961) was hired as provincial secretary of the newly formed provincial New Democratic Party. In 1968 he was elected Alberta leader of the party, which at that time held no seats in the legislature. After 3 unsuccessful attempts to win a seat, he won the new riding of Spirit River-Fairview in 1971, holding it for the rest of his life. He was a one-man caucus for 11 years and won respect for his parliamentary skills and knowledge of the issues. He became Leader of the Official Opposition in Alberta after the NDP elected a second member in 1982. When the Alberta government reduced oil shipments to central Canada in protest against the National Energy Program, Notley was the only Alberta legislator to oppose the move. He then participated actively in the constitutional debate of 1980-81, criticizing the extreme views of both the federal and Alberta governments. Notley died in an aircraft accident.