Mr. Tony Cashman brings to life one of Canada's most intriguing political figures, the Hon. Ernest C. Manning. The young Saskatchewan farm boy heard William Aberhart preaching over CFCN radio Calgary and was saved (born again) in 1926. He went on to attend Aberhart's Prophetic Bible Institute and later shared the management and radio preaching ministry with his mentor and teacher. Providential circumstances led both men into politics and finally heading the government in 1935, with Mr. Aberhart as Premier and E. C. Manning as Minister of Trade and Commerce. Manning went on to become Premier in 1943 and subsequently won seven consecutive majority governments, retiring undefeated and loved by the people of Alberta.
The writer of this Tribute went on to say that Alberta would never be the same without Ernest C. Manning. As we look back over history it would be easy to agree with him.
Premier Manning had the unique quality of being a Christian politician and gospel preacher at the same time. He entered politics with William Aberhart in order to help the people of Alberta who were struggling with poverty and unemployment brought on by the 1930s Great Depression. They achieved their goal aided by strong fiscal management and the discovery of commercial oil at Leduc in 1947. Manning went on to serve in five ministries gaining a knowledge of government possessed by few others.
During his term as Premier he carried out an active ministry preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. He started Canada's National Back to the Bible Hour which still airs on the radio in 2021. Mr. Manning never apologized for his Christian work stating that he preached before going into politics and he would continue preaching long after leaving politics. And he did. His voice has been on the radio for 91 years to date
This unabashedly Christian fundamentalist preacher and politician led Alberta for 25 years raising it from a debt-laden, agricultural prairie province to one of the engines of the Canadian economy. His leadership produced enduring and successful legislation in the province's oil and gas industry as well as advancements in social justice that were copied by administrations in other parts of Canada and the United States. No scandal was ever proven against his government. He retired as Alberta's Premier in 1968 with his head held high and his integrity intact. His legacy is best summed up by Calgary Herald journalist, Brian Brennan, below.
"By and large, no provincial leader has ever earned and won more public respect, confidence and admiration than has been sustained over a remarkably long period by Premier Manning." (Brian Brennan, Calgary Herald Tribute, February 21, 1996)
Canada needs leaders like this today. Yet, the intellectual and academic establishment decries men and women with Christian character and promotes those with non-Christian beliefs and agendas. If we are to see a return to peace and prosperity in this country we will need leaders like E. C. Manning, a man whom leftist Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau said he would rather see sitting in the "peaceful Canadian Senate graveyard" than out on the street talking to people.
Tony Cashman's "Ernest C. Manning - A Biographical Sketch" provides a unique insight into the rise of a great political leader from the common peoples' obscurity to political power in Alberta, a province known for its independent entrepreneurial spirit. Manning best embodied "Alberta Strong and Free" and shows the way forward for the whole country Canada if we are to remain the same into the future. Enjoy reading this great booklet, penned on "the Father of Modern Alberta" by "the Edmontonian of the Century."