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VIGER, AMANDA, named Saint-Jean-de-Goto – Volume XIII (1901-1910)

b. 27 July 1845 in Boucherville, Lower Canada


Responsible Government

Sir John A. Macdonald

From the Red River Settlement to Manitoba (1812–70)

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Sir George-Étienne Cartier


The Fenians

Women in the DCB/DBC

The Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences of 1864

Introductory Essays of the DCB/DBC

The Acadians

For Educators

The War of 1812 

Canada’s Wartime Prime Ministers

The First World War

OLIVER, FRANK (born Francis Robert Bowsfield, Bossfield, or Bousfield), printer, merchant, newspaper editor and publisher, politician, and office holder; b. September 1853 in Peel County, Upper Canada, son of Allen (Allan) Bowsfield and Anna (Hannah) ———; m. 6 July 1881 Harriet Dunlop (1863–1943) in Winnipeg, and they had five daughters and two sons; d. 31 March 1933 in Ottawa.

Frank Oliver’s parents, who were of English and Irish descent, farmed in Chinguacousy Township. While attending high school in nearby Brampton, young Frank was apprenticed as a printer with a local newspaper. According to one account, he had a falling-out with his father and left the family home, thereafter calling himself Oliver, possibly his mother’s maiden name. He quickly found employment with the Globe in Toronto, where he imbibed the Clear Grit liberalism and enthusiasm for the possibilities of the Canadian west expressed by the paper’s publisher, George Brown*. In 1873 Oliver moved to Winnipeg and secured a position with the Manitoba Free Press [see William Fisher Luxton*]. He was soon promoted to assistant foreman of the composing room. As he would later describe his duties, he “set all the ads, and made up the forms, and fed the press for both daily and weekly” editions.

Oliver, like many others, anticipated that the projected transcontinental railway would pass near Fort Edmonton (Edmonton), following the route surveyed in the 1870s by Sandford Fleming*. Expecting rapid development of the northwestern agricultural frontier, he and a friend bought eight ox-carts in the summer of 1876, loaded them with trade goods, and began walking. At Battleford (Sask.) they agreed that his partner should return to Winnipeg while Oliver joined a group that included John Andrew Davidson*. In October, three months after he had started, the party reached its destination, halting at the settlement that was springing up around the Hudson’s Bay Company post. There he pitched his tent and set up a store close to the company fort. Two years later, for $25, he purchased a plot of land, on which he erected a more durable log building. Each summer Oliver made the long round trip to Winnipeg to obtain supplies for his store: groceries, hardware, dry goods, and clothing. After the arrival of the telegraph at Edmonton in 1879, operator Alexander Taylor began to circulate to subscribers a handwritten bulletin containing the news he received each week from Winnipeg. Oliver’s interest in this endeavour led to an acquaintance with Taylor and the idea of printing these dispatches. The following summer he acquired what he described as a “toy press” and some type, and in December, in a short-lived partnership with Taylor, he launched the Bulletin, soon renamed the Edmonton Bulletin, a small weekly that also carried local news.

Taylor left the business to farm near Fort Saskatchewan in the spring of 1881, and Oliver shut down the paper for the summer. During his annual visit to Winnipeg he married Harriet Dunlop, whose brother Alexander, then a printer at the Free Press, agreed to be his new partner in the Bulletin. The start of construction on the Canadian Pacific Railway that year prompted an economic boom in Edmonton. An enlarged and improved Bulletin appeared at the end of October, and Oliver seemed poised to profit handsomely from his shop and newspaper. But disaster struck in 1882, when the CPR announced that it was changing its route to run through Calgary and the Kicking Horse Pass [see Sir William Cornelius Van Horne*]. The real-estate market collapsed, his store failed, he had to let his newspaper staff go, and Dunlop returned to Winnipeg. For the next few years Oliver’s survival was uncertain; small wonder that he felt embittered towards the railway and the federal Conservative government of Sir John A. Macdonald*, which had agreed to the new course.

Without a railway, Edmonton’s continued existence depended upon the conviction of boosters such as Oliver that the future would be bright. The Bulletin focused on community issues and viewed larger national and territorial questions through the prism of the town’s interests. Oliver took naturally to the politics of grievance, objecting, for example, to land laws that left original settlers as squatters without title and favoured newcomers and large speculators. Ontarians and Manitobans, he observed in the Bulletin in February 1884, had had to resort to armed rebellion to secure their rights. “If history is to be taken as a guide, what could be plainer than that without rebellion the people of the North West need expect nothing, while with rebellion … they may reasonably expect to get their rights.”

Slender, energetic, fiery, and sporting a distinctive bushy moustache, Oliver addressed many public meetings, particularly denouncing the autocratic actions of Edgar Dewdney*, the lieutenant governor of the North-West Territories. In 1883, after Edmonton was made an electoral district, he became the second elected member of the Council of the North-West Territories, where appointees still predominated. The council, like its successor, the Legislative Assembly, was largely non-partisan and constituency-oriented, though most members identified themselves as Liberals or Conservatives. Oliver, however, denied being a Grit, insisting that “we support principles, not men.” He wanted a fair share of public-works funding for the Edmonton district, incorporation of the town, the establishment of schools, and settlement of Métis claims for scrip [see Amédée-Emmanuel Forget*]. The flamboyant journalist and lawyer Nicholas Flood Davin* described him at the time as “not only of independent thought and great natural ability, but a man of transparent honesty. Such men the free air of the North West breeds.”

Oliver was a thorn in Dewdney’s flesh, joining with Liberal James Hamilton Ross to demand that the council, in which elected members soon held a majority, be able to control local affairs free of interference from Ottawa and the lieutenant governor. His most constructive work as a councillor led in 1884 to the first territorial school ordinance. Despite his personal preference for a single education system and complete separation of church and state, Oliver worked with the Roman Catholics to create a structure that provided for separate Protestant and Catholic schools, as required under the North-West Territories Act of 1875. Nevertheless, his aggressively independent and controversial stance with respect to Dewdney’s policies became an issue in the 1885 election, in which – to the latter’s delight – Oliver suffered defeat at the hands of Conservative-leaning Dr Herbert Charles Wilson, considered by scholar William S. Waddell to be of “moderate views and reasonable methods.”

In his editorials Oliver went on berating Ottawa and demanding responsible government for the North-West Territories. He won a seat in the newly established Legislative Assembly in 1888. Three years later the federal government made the assembly wholly elective and gave it limited powers to run local affairs. Oliver was not happy with the compromise, contending that “the people’s money [mainly the annual federal grant] must be controlled by the people’s representatives. Until that principle is firmly established legislation by the assembly on any subject may be rendered useless.” That he was returned by acclamation in 1891 indicated wide popular support for his position. Despite his claims of tolerance, he favoured abolishing the official status of the French language in the territories. He also advocated restricting denominational control of schools while increasing government supervision, thus undermining the principles of the 1884 ordinance. Oliver endorsed the prohibition of alcohol and western demands for larger federal subsidies. In 1894 he persuaded the assembly to adopt the secret ballot for elections. He continued to attack federal policies in the territories and was favourably impressed with the Liberal opposition leader, Wilfrid Laurier*, who visited Edmonton that September. At a convention in Calgary in early 1895, the Liberals nominated Oliver as their federal candidate for the District of Alberta; he, however, insisted that he was running as an independent. Among his demands were a tariff for revenue purposes only, an end to the CPR’s monopoly, lower freight rates, and a better deal for the northwest. He won decisively in the momentous Liberal victory of 23 June 1896.

Frank Oliver descended on Ottawa as a dramatic contrast to his nearly invisible predecessor, Donald Watson Davis, the Conservative representative of the ranching and business elites in the southern part of the district. Imbued with prairie populism, Oliver embraced themes that long resonated with Albertans. The territorial convention of non-partisanship was the product not only of dependency upon the federal government but also of the perception that all forms of politics were essentially local. The chief task of the elected member was to reflect his constituents’ interests. Oliver emphasized that, as an independent Liberal, his support for the Laurier ministry was contingent on its satisfying those concerns. Now was the time for the numerically and morally superior grain and mixed farmers and residents of small towns to assert themselves against entrenched privilege, tradition, and corruption; Oliver proudly noted that in 1896 he had enjoyed the support of the agrarian Patrons of Industry [see Charles Braithwaite*]. Over the next few years he denounced the government’s failure to end the CPR land monopoly and attacked its policies regarding the tariff, immigration, Indians, the Crow’s Nest Pass Railway [see John Duncan McArthur*], and the proposed Yukon line; indeed, he might have seemed suited to the opposition, except that he even more aggressively assailed the Conservative record.

On no subject did Oliver speak more often or with greater passion – and intolerance – than on immigration. The purpose of bringing settlers to the west, he asserted, was to establish “a higher, and a better civilization in that country.” This goal required a community of “like-minded” neighbours. Introducing those who were not of “a progressive instinct” or “a civilized tendency” seriously handicapped development of the desired community. In particular, the Galicians (Ukrainians) and Doukhobors [see Peter Vasil’evich Verigin*] could not be “citizens of this country, as we would wish them to be citizens.” The “Slav population” constituted a “millstone … hung around our necks.” For similar reasons Oliver fully supported British Columbia’s efforts to restrict Chinese and Japanese immigration: “You do not want your sons to go to British Columbia and compete with men who live … like pigs.” The Japanese, while possibly to be preferred to the Chinese, “are not our people, they do not belong to our civilization, they do not strengthen our country, and we are here for ourselves and not for them.” The government, he insisted, needed to implement far more selective immigration policies.

Evidently Oliver pleased his constituents, for he was returned by decisive margins in Alberta in 1900 (running against Conservative Richard Bedford Bennett*) and in Edmonton, now one of four ridings for the district, in 1904, winning in this contest the largest majority in Canada. The following February Laurier put forward legislation to create the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan; when Minister of the Interior and Superintendent General of Indian Affairs Clifford Sifton* unexpectedly resigned over the education clause in the Autonomy Bills of 1905, the prime minister chose Oliver to replace him. This promotion probably reflected the latter’s popularity but also the fact that in 1897 he had accepted the Liberals’ decision to delay full provincial status for the North-West Territories and grant responsible government only within a limited framework, on the grounds that a larger subsidy would satisfy westerners’ real concerns. Before being appointed to cabinet, Oliver had defended Ottawa’s revised school policy and its decision to retain control of the new provinces’ crown lands and natural resources. He had pushed for Edmonton to be the capital of Alberta, and Calgary’s supporters, including Conservative mp Maitland Stewart McCarthy*, could do little to counter Oliver, who was subsequently involved in a gerrymander that favoured the Liberals in provincial ridings and the northern city over its southern rival. He was also influential in the choice of Alexander Cameron Rutherford* as the first premier of the province.

Oliver was determined to set his own stamp on his departments. Most significantly, he brought in bills to make immigration policy more selective and reinforce the government’s powers of exclusion and deportation. The act of 1906 discriminated in part on the basis of social standing: first-class passengers were not considered immigrants, while those travelling second-class and steerage were and fell under the provisions of the legislation. It also was selective in terms of health and morality, refusing entry to those who were blind, deaf, insane, epileptic, “feeble-minded,” or afflicted with “loathsome” or contagious diseases, as well as beggars, paupers, prostitutes, pimps, and individuals convicted of a “crime involving moral turpitude.” Anyone who, within two years of arrival, was jailed or hospitalized or became a public charge could be expelled. The legislation empowered the government to prohibit the landing in Canada of “any specified class of immigrants.” Oliver’s goal was to reduce recruitment in continental Europe and favour the British.

A new act in 1910 extended the powers of deportation, strengthened the hand of government to exclude members of “any race deemed unsuited to the climate or requirements of Canada” or immigrants of “any specified class, occupation or character,” enhanced medical inspection prior to entry, and introduced a three-year period of “domicile,” during which deportation could be facilitated and immigrants had few rights of appeal. Canada remained hostile to newcomers of colour. Policy for limiting immigrants from the Asian continent came under the Department of Trade and Commerce, though Oliver helped to shape it. But black immigration, mostly from the United States, was his responsibility, and under his direction it was severely curbed. The Conservative opposition criticized the minister chiefly for being insufficiently restrictive.

In practice, however, the requirements of Canadian business for a steady supply of cheap labour offset the application of the legislation. Immigration rose dramatically during Oliver’s tenure, from 141,465 in 1905 to 331,288 six years later. He deeply cut expenditures directed at attracting settlers from continental Europe and increased efforts in Britain and the United States. Canada secured a higher proportion of emigrants from Britain, but those from continental Europe continued to enter in large numbers; the result was that the percentage of homestead registrations by British and American settlers changed very little between 1905 and 1911, while those by southern and eastern Europeans rose from 8.7 to 13.1 per cent.

Like many novice mps, Oliver had arrived in Ottawa in 1896 with two fixed ideas about the native peoples: the government spent too much on them, and attempts to educate them, especially in industrial schools [see Hayter Reed], were wasted. Why, he demanded that year, was nearly $300,000 invested annually in teaching fewer than 1,000 aboriginal pupils in the North-West Territories, while the entire subsidy for the territorial government was $242,000, out of which 10,000 students were to be instructed? As minister responsible for Indian affairs, however, Oliver defended education as the means to “elevate the Indian from his condition of savagery,” though he claimed to favour reserve over residential schools and particularly to oppose compulsory separation of aboriginal children from their parents. Despite his rhetoric and an overall decline during his years in office of nearly 3 per cent in the native population, expenditure increased by over 12 per cent, and the number of residential schools grew by almost 15 per cent and schools of all kinds by about 7 per cent.

Oliver moved decisively to facilitate surrenders of Indian reserve lands, a policy which he and the Bulletin had long advocated, and which was strongly supported by settlers and politicians, especially in the west. He introduced an amendment to the Indian Act in 1906 to increase from 10 to 50 per cent the amount of cash realized from sales that could be distributed to band members. Further amendments in 1911, which together became known as the Oliver Act, permitted expropriation of Indian lands and even, under certain conditions, the removal of natives from reserves in or near towns. Reserves across Canada were affected; in the prairie west alone, where there had been 6 surrenders in the years 1897–1904, there were 18 during Oliver’s term in office between 1905 and 1911 [see William Morris Graham]. Natives across the country were persuaded or coerced into giving up thousands of acres of land; the sales, however, often returned far less for their residents than they should have. The minister’s reputation for honesty was sullied when he, department officials, and friends of the government obtained substantial tracts for much less than market value and profited from their resale.

Oliver made trips to the Yukon Territory in 1905 and – remarkably for a man almost 57 years of age – in 1910, travelling via the Mackenzie and Porcupine rivers. He was the first federal minister to visit Dawson and the gold fields. The result was democratization of the Yukon government, needed administrative changes, and some infusions of money. In the west his policies favouring the homesteader contributed to the decline of the ranching industry; indeed, many huge grazing leases were allowed to lapse and the land was surveyed into homesteads. Following his participation in the Canadian Forestry Convention in Ottawa in January 1906, Oliver introduced the Dominion Forest Reserves Act to provide for the better management and exploitation of crown forest lands. As minister responsible for national parks, he drastically reduced the size of the Rocky Mountains (Banff), Glacier, Kootenay Lakes (Waterton Lakes), and Jasper parks [see John George Brown*; William Pearce*] under the Dominion Forest Reserves and Parks Act of 1911, which replaced the earlier legislation; much of the land thus freed was declared to be forest reserves to capitalize on its timber and mineral resources. Oliver also created the dominion parks branch within the Department of the Interior that year and appointed the able James Bernard Harkin* as commissioner. Between 1907 and 1909 he had imported the last significant herd of plains bison from Montana to Elk (Elk Island) Park in Alberta.

Though the dominant Liberal before 1905 in what would become the province of Alberta, Frank Oliver never was a unifier. Rivalry among party members in Edmonton was especially pronounced after that date, as the new attorney general, Charles Wilson Cross*, conducted a bitter feud with Oliver to establish his own power base in the city. Many believed that the federal minister and the Bulletin were behind much of the agitation that undermined the Rutherford government over the Alberta and Great Waterways Railway scandal of 1909–10 [see Arthur Lewis Watkins Sifton*]. Out of office and embittered, Rutherford himself unsuccessfully challenged Oliver for the federal Liberal nomination in Edmonton in 1911.

Oliver survived the defeat of the Laurier government that year and promptly became one of the principal gadflies to harass the Conservatives under Robert Laird Borden. The Tories believed that there had been extensive malfeasance with respect to the administration of public and Indian lands under the Liberals. In 1913 they appointed Winnipeg lawyer Thomas Roberts Ferguson to investigate, and he reported to parliament two years later. Clearly, key officials in both the Interior and Indian Affairs departments had profited in dubious ways, as, apparently, had Oliver and his family. The former minister had also received $15,000 from the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company [see Charles Melville Hays*] for the Bulletin – its only newspaper investment – at a time when he controlled lands that the railway required. Oliver’s defence of his record, during an intense debate in the House of Commons on 14 April 1915, was not compelling: he simply dismissed ample evidence of conflict of interest, maladministration, and outright corruption.

The Edmonton Bulletin had begun as a weekly and by 1892 was a semi-weekly; a daily edition was launched in 1903. Oliver was the sole proprietor until 1898, when his duties as a public figure necessitated involving others through a restructured form of ownership, the Bulletin Company Limited. But he retained a monetary interest in the paper, wrote for it from time to time, and would continue to shape its “outlook and policies for years to come.” Despite the patronage of the federal Liberal government, the newspaper’s revenues were never robust, particularly after the appearance in 1903 of the well-financed Conservative Edmonton Journal. Until about 1912 the two papers sold roughly the same number of copies, but then the Journal gained a decisive edge, which it never lost. In 1921, for example, the Bulletin reported its daily circulation figures as 10,585, with another 7,149 for the semi-weekly; by contrast, the Journal, which attracted more advertisements and was superior in layout and appearance, had a daily circulation of 20,631.

Oliver had a traditional view of relations between the sexes. He opposed granting homestead rights to single women: it was, he asserted in 1910, essential for the male homesteader “to get the woman, and for the woman who wants to settle on land in the Northwest to get the man, rather than that she shall have land of her own.… The single woman cannot bring the land into productiveness under ordinary circumstances, even as well as the single man.” At a celebration of 50 years of settlement in Clover Bar, Alta, in 1931 he would observe: “It is the business of the man to lead and to give leadership. It is the business of the woman to give inspiration, direction and driving force to that leadership.” Oliver also resisted equality of pay and promotion for women in the civil service. At the Bulletin he employed few women. Of a female Linotype operator, he said – by way of compliment – that she was “one of the best men he had.” An early female reporter at the paper, Miriam Green* Ellis, would later recall, “Women in the office rather perplexed him … though he never discriminated against them.… Like many others he bulked women into one class … and expected them to react alike.” Nevertheless, Oliver encouraged Ellis and respected her work in reporting on agriculture. In 1906 he hired as a correspondent Katherine Angelina Hughes*, who would become provincial archivist of Alberta two years later. Evidently Oliver’s wife, Harriet, was content to accept the role of supportive and loving homemaker, hostess, and mother, thus reinforcing her husband’s opinions about women.

As an mp, Oliver continued to demonstrate his independence. In 1916, when fellow Liberal Ernest Lapointe* introduced a resolution, endorsed by Laurier, denouncing Ontario’s Regulation 17, which restricted francophone rights in the province, Oliver joined with other western Liberals in supporting the Borden government to defeat the motion. The outbreak of World War I in 1914 affected him both publicly and privately. Long interested in the fair treatment of veterans and their families, he was appointed by Borden to a special bipartisan committee investigating pensions for disabled soldiers, which in 1916 recommended increases for all ranks from private to captain. In November that year his son Allen was killed in action, shortly after winning a Military Cross for bravery. Neither this loss nor the fact that his other son, John Sifton (Jack), was serving overseas persuaded Oliver of the virtues of conscription, which he and the Bulletin opposed. During the crisis over the issue in 1917, he chose to remain loyal to Laurier, whom he and many of his constituents personally respected. He believed that in a fair contest the Liberals had a good chance of winning, and he angrily denounced the Military Voters Act and the War-time Elections Act introduced by the Borden government. These measures, he correctly discerned, were intended to ensure the success of a conscriptionist platform. In the general election that year Oliver achieved a narrow majority at home but lost to the Conservative candidate, Brigadier-General William Antrobus Griesbach*, when the overseas military votes were counted.

Griesbach did not contest the 1921 election, but Oliver, running in support of William Lyon Mackenzie King*’s Liberals, was again defeated, this time by a Progressive, Donald Macbeth Kennedy. The rebuff ended his political career. In 1923 the King government appointed him to the Board of Railway Commissioners, on which he served until he was 75. He continued for the remainder of his life as a very active advisory officer to the board. Numerous Alberta Liberals attempted in 1925 and 1926 to persuade Oliver to accept leadership of the provincial party, but he declined. In 1923 he had disposed of his interest in the faltering Bulletin, only to buy it back two years later in the hope of reselling it at a profit. However, it realized only a fraction of the price he had anticipated, leaving him financially embarrassed when he could not pay an outstanding debt. He drafted a history of the fur trade and a volume of reminiscences (the latter apparently lost) and produced many articles about his early years in the west and on topics of contemporary interest. In 1931 the University of Alberta conferred on him the honorary degree of lld.

The end came suddenly. In Ottawa on board business and seemingly in excellent health, Oliver took ill and died within a few hours on 31 March 1933. His body was returned to Edmonton, where he was buried. Among the many tributes that followed his demise, two reveal a side of the former politician seldom seen by the public. More than 20 years after he had left office, long-time employees in the Department of the Interior recalled his “most kindly and generous nature” and observed that he was “still spoken of with respect and affection by large numbers of the staff.” The other testimonial came from the Ukrainian National Association, which mourned him with “deep respect” as a “great statesman” who “extended his kind help and friendship to those old settlers who came thousands of miles from far off Europe to make their new homes in Western Canada” – this praise despite his public stance strongly opposing Ukrainian immigration.

Frank Oliver’s legacy was certainly mixed. In the west he was seen as a pioneer of vision and energy. Through the Bulletin and his political career, he promoted the advancement of Edmonton and north-central Alberta. He championed the small farmer and the frontier district against entrenched interests – banks, railways, large-scale ranchers, big business, and their tool, the federal government – which he believed inhibited development and progress. His colourful, take-no-prisoners style of argumentation and his no-compromise approach were legendary but too often divisive. Oliver can be regarded as one of the founders of the territorial educational system, yet he subsequently worked to undermine its original denominational character, preferring it to be secular, centralized, and government run. Under his administration, immigration reached unprecedented levels, yet his admission policies were narrowly restrictive, reflecting the nativist and assimilationist values of the majority culture. His commitment to secure surrenders of Indian lands was ostensibly prompted by a desire that they be used more productively for agriculture, but it also derived from commonly held assumptions about native incompetence and from greed for profit from sales. His early claims to be a man of honour and principle in western politics were sullied by his embrace of patronage, corruption, and self-interest when he headed the Interior and Indian Affairs departments. Oliver was not a particularly successful businessman; the Bulletin actually lost more money than it made while he controlled it. Indeed, only an appointment from the federal government enabled him to live in reasonable comfort after 1923. A founder of Liberalism in Alberta, he nevertheless contributed to, though he was far from wholly responsible for, the bitter infighting, regional divisions, and self-serving partisanship that came to characterize the provincial party, especially from 1910 through the 1930s.

Oliver personified much about the pioneer era in Alberta: its passions, its ideals, its hopes, its strengths, and its defects. Even after many years of residence in Ottawa, he remained closely identified in the public mind with his adopted province, and to the end he was known as Frank Oliver of Alberta.

David J. Hall

Frank Oliver wrote extensively for the Edmonton Bulletin from 1880 to at least 1903 and periodically thereafter. Some of his speeches have appeared in print, including “Canadian sentiment,” given to the Canadian Club of Toronto and published in its Addresses, 1909/10: 149–54. “Address delivered … at the Clover Bar jubilee celebration” is included in J. P. Berry, Clover Bar in the making, 1881–1931 (n.p., [1931?]), 27–32, and a speech by Oliver is excerpted in The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway: pointed paragraphs from parliamentary speeches upon the new transcontinental line (n.p., n.d.). His “Across the prairies fifty years ago,” which originally appeared in two parts in Country Guide (Winnipeg), 15 Sept. 1928, 3, 16–17, and 1 Oct. 1928, 6, 45–46, was reprinted as “Frank Oliver’s journey to Edmonton, 1876” in Alberta Hist. (Calgary), 51 (2003), no.2: 2–12.

Most of Oliver’s personal papers appear to have been destroyed after his death. A descendent donated a collection to the PAA in 1992 (PR1831), the great bulk of which dates from the 1920s and 1930s, though a few items shed light on earlier years. The collection was exploited in a sketch of Oliver that appeared in Alberta in the 20th century: a journalistic history of the province in twelve volumes [ed. Ted Byfield et al.] (12v., Edmonton, 1991–2003), 4 (The Great War and its consequences, 1914–1920, 1994): 102–5. Other pieces on his life and career are scattered throughout the first five volumes of this series. The City of Edmonton Arch. holds the Frank Oliver fonds (MS 172), containing published and unpublished material, and also has an extensive clippings file on Oliver and his family.

There are two important theses on Oliver: W. S. Waddell, “The Honorable Frank Oliver” (ma thesis, Univ. of Alta, Edmonton, 1950), and K. T. Hollihan, “‘We want, not your money, but your citizenship’: the immigration policy of Frank Oliver” (ma thesis, Univ. of Alta, 1989).

Edmonton Bull., 7 April 1905, 14 July 1930, 1 April 1933. Ottawa Citizen, 1 April 1933. Pierre Berton, The promised land: settling the west, 1896–1914 (Toronto, 1984). Can., House of Commons, Debates, 1896–1917; Parl., Sessional papers, 1906–34 (reports of the auditor general, 1904/5, 1909/10, 1929/30; reports of the Dept. of the Interior and the Dept. of Indian Affairs, 1904/5–1911/12; reports of the Board of Railway Commissioners for Can., 1923–33). Canadian annual rev., 1901–33. The Canadian newspaper directory (Montreal), 1892–1921. P. [A.] Dutil and David MacKenzie, Canada 1911: the decisive election that shaped the country (Toronto, 2011). E. J. (Ted) Hart, J. B. Harkin: father of Canada’s national parks (Edmonton, 2010). Heritage Community Foundation, “AlbertaSource.ca: the Alberta online encyclopedia”: www.albertasource.ca (consulted 23 May 2011). K. T. Hollihan, “‘A brake upon the wheel’: Frank Oliver and the creation of the Immigration Act of 1906,” Past Imperfect, 1 (1992): 93–112. Ninette Kelley and Michael Trebilcock, The making of the mosaic: a history of Canadian immigration policy (2nd ed., Toronto, 2010). A. B. Kilpatrick, “A lesson in boosterism: the contest for the Alberta provincial capital, 1904–1906,” Urban Hist. Rev. (Toronto), 8 (1980–81): 47–109. M. [L.] Lang, Women who made the news: female journalists in Canada, 1880–1945 (Montreal and Kingston, Ont., 1999). W. F. Lothian, A history of Canada’s national parks (4v., Ottawa, 1976–81), 1. M. R. Lupul, The Roman Catholic Church and the North-West school question: a study in church-state relations in western Canada, 1875–1905 (Toronto, 1974). Peggy Martin-McGuire, First Nation land surrenders on the prairies, 1896–1911 (Ottawa, 1998). D. R. Morrison, The politics of the Yukon Territory, 1898–1909 (Toronto, 1968). L. G. Thomas, The Liberal party in Alberta: a history of politics in the province of Alberta, 1905–1921 (Toronto, 1959). L. H. Thomas, The struggle for responsible government in the North-West Territories, 1870–97 (Toronto, 1956). [E.] B. Titley, The frontier world of Edgar Dewdney (Vancouver, 1999); A narrow vision: Duncan Campbell Scott and the administration of Indian Affairs in Canada (Vancouver, 1986).

General Bibliography

Cite This Article

David J. Hall, “OLIVER, FRANK (Francis Robert Bowsfield, Bossfield, or Bousfield),” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 16, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed July 27, 2017, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/oliver_frank_16E.html.

The citation above shows the format for footnotes and endnotes according to the Chicago manual of style (16th edition). Information to be used in other citation formats:

Permalink: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/oliver_frank_16E.html
Author of Article: David J. Hall
Title of Article: OLIVER, FRANK (Francis Robert Bowsfield, Bossfield, or Bousfield)
Publication Name: Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 16
Publisher: University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication: 2016
Year of revision: 2016
Access Date: July 27, 2017