Ernest Winch: Biographical Sketch

Ernest Winch: Biographical Sketch

stern looking man in old fashioned suite and tieErnest Winch was a social pioneer. All his life he fought for fundamental changes in the Canadian economy and he worked diligently to improve the lives of his fellowman. 

He demonstrated this concern by his advocacy of improved facilities for the mentally ill and former inmates of correctional institutions and in the housing he built for senior citizens. – Tommy Douglas

Apprenticed as a bricklayer in England, Ernest Edward Winch was active in the trade union movement and Canadian politics. He served from 1933 until his death in 1957 as Burnaby’s provincial Member of Legislative Assembly (CCF).

Described as a “Marxist of the third way”—promoting education and opposing centralized leadership—as president of the Vancouver Trade and Labour Council (VTLC), Winch endorsed the Vancouver General Strike of 2 August 1918 and the Winnipeg General Strike of 15 May – 25 June 1919. Although a member of the Social-Democratic Party, the Socialist Party and the Independent Labor Party, he was not prominent in them.

He was founder of the New Vista Society in Burnaby, BC in 1948, a founding member of the Association for the Protection of Fur bearing Animals of British Columbia, and a founder of the Socialist Party of Canada (B.C. Section) in 1932 (soon merged with the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, formed 1 August 1932).

His first-born son, Harold Edward Winch (June 18, 1907 – February 1, 1993) served as BC MLA for Vancouver East from 1933 to 1953 (Co-operative Commonwealth Federation), and as a federal Member of Parliament from 1953 to 1961 (Co-operative Commonwealth Federation), and from 1961 to 1972 (New Democratic Party). Ernie Winch Park in Burnaby still carries his name.”