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There have been many successful people to come out of Prince Albert. Some were born here, and had their formative years in Prince Albert but others, like David Steuart, came to the area well after childhood, and helped to put the community on the map.
David Steuart was born in 1916 in Regina, receiving his elementary and high school education in Regina and Moose Jaw. At the age of 17, in 1933, he finished high school and he spent the next three years of The Great Depression working in a Vancouver Lumber Mill.
The love of Saskatchewan was far too strong for Steuart and he returned in 1937, settling in Prince Albert with his parents and brothers who had set up a corner grocery store. Soon after, he would partner with his brother Jack in the Steuart Electric and Furniture Store.
When the Second World War erupted, Steuart signed up and served as a navigator on active duty with the RCAF in Europe. When the war ended, he went back into the family business, while also setting his eyes on politics. His political career officially began when he became and alderman in Prince Albert in 1951. Three years later, he was Mayor of Prince Albert, which he served as for four years.
He would become a member of the Saskatchewan Liberal Party and helped former MP Ross Thatcher become the Liberal Party of Saskatchewan leader in 1959. In 1960, he attempted to win a seat to the Saskatchewan legislature but he lost. In a by-election in 1962, he was elected to the Prince Albert seat and two years later, re-elected when the Liberals came into power. For his early support, he was appointed as the Minister of Health in the cabinet and he was instrumental in implementing the governmental system of user fees for health care. In 1965, he took over as the Minister of Natural Resources and became the Deputy Premier of the province. In 1967, he was the Minister of Finance.
In 1971, the Liberal Party was defeated but Steuart held onto his seat and also became the party’s leader, making him the Leader of the Official Opposition in the Legislature after Thatcher’s death. He would serve in this role for four years until he lost his seat in the 1975 election. That same year, he was appointed to the Canadian Senate, where he would serve until 1991.
That year, he moved to Kelowna where he would spend the rest of his life. He passed away on Nov. 5, 2010 at the age of 94.
A shrewd politician and a gifted orator, he is remembered for his sharp sense of humor and his ability to be a formidable foe on the public platform. He also served as a member of the Prince Albert Council of Knights of Columbus. The Dave G. Steuart Arena in Prince Albert is named for him.