1908-1996. Ernest Manning was Alberta
's longest serving premier, and was the father of Preston Manning
, founder of the Reform Party of Canada
Born in Saskatchewan, Ernest moved to Alberta in 1927, to enroll in the Calgary Prophetic Bible Institute. Here, he was to meet and work closely with William Aberhart. Manning joined Aberhart's fledgling Social Credit Party, and was elected to the Alberta Legislature in 1935, the same year Aberhart became premier.
When Aberhart died in 1943, Ernest took the reins of the party and became premier of Alberta, a job he would hold for the next 25 years. Under his leadership, the Social Credit Party shifted away from it's roots in alternative monetary policies and concentrated on solid, fiscally sound governing. During his term as premier, Alberta became Canada's top oil producing province, and Manning's government set the foundation for balancing the interests of industry, government, and the province as a whole.
In 1967, Manning's book, Political Realignment: A Challenge to Thoughtful Canadians was published. In this book, he outlines his views regarding the reorganization of the Canadian federal party system, and it is a precursor to the ideas upon which Preston Manning founded the Reform Party of Canada.
In 1968, Ernest Manning resigned as Premier and his seat in the Alberta Legislature; in 1970, he was appointed to the Senate of Canada.