Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Derek James “Jim” Walding (1937-2007)

Optician, MLA (1971-1973), MLA (1973-1977), MLA (1977-1981), MLA (1982-1986), Speaker (1982-1986), MLA (1986-1988).

Born at Rushden, England on 9 May 1937, son of Howard and Dorothy Walding, he served in the military in Ireland, then attended the London School of Optometry. He and his wife Valerie immigrated to Canada in 1961 and settled in Winnipeg where he worked as an optician for ten years and adopted three children. He served on the board of the Manitoba Centennial Corporation (1969-1970). In April 1971, he was elected to the Manitoba Legislature in a by-election for the St. Vital constituency, replacing Jack Hardy who had defeated him in the 1969 general election, and narrowing defeating Liberal challenger Dan Kennedy. Re-elected in 1973, 1977, 1981, and 1986, he served four years as Speaker of the House (1982-1986) and, in 1977, he received a Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal. Considered a renegade by some members of the NDP party, in 1988 he voted against his own government on a budget bill, leading to the fall of the Pawley government. He did not seek re-election at that time and died on 23 April 2007 after a short battle with cancer.

See also:

Keep True: A Life in Politics by Howard Pawley, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2011.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 26 April 2007.

Just One Vote: From Jim Walding’s Nomination to Constitutional Defeat by Ian Stewart, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2009.

Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 4 November 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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