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Many from Prince Albert have made their mark on the political stage. From early alderman of other cities, to the Prime Minister of Canada, Prince Albert can provide some great political leaders. One of these leaders is Ivor Dent, who was born in Prince Albert on Feb. 7, 1924 and would go on to have a successful career in politics.
Living his youth in Prince Albert, he would enlist in the Royal Canadian Air Force but was rejected. As a result, he took work as an office boy for Canadian Pacific until he applied again the following year with the air force, and was accepted. He would work as a bomb aimer for the next three years.
Following the war, he returned to Prince Albert and married his wife Aileen in 1948. He began studying at the University of Saskatchewan around the same time, and would graduate with a Bachelors of Arts.
In 1952, he would move his wife and him out of the area and into Edmonton so he could enrol at the University of Alberta and earn a Bachelor of Education. Following his graduation, he moved to Enchant, Alberta, where he taught school for one year before returning to Edmonton. While in Edmonton, he once again went back to school and earned a Master of Administration degree in 1956.
Politics were always important to Dent, and in 1955 he ran in the Alberta Election for the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, finishing 25th out of 30 candidates on the first ballot. Two years later, he looked to municipal politics and ran to be an alderman with the Edmonton City Council. He finished seventh out of 19, with the top five being elected. He ran again in 1959 and 1960, finishing 10th and eighth in each attempt. He then took two years off and earned his doctorate in educational administration from the University of Oregon.
Upon coming back to Canada, he once again ran for office, this time in the federal election, finishing fourth out of five candidates, only beating the communist candidate. That same year, in 1963, he would run in the Edmonton municipal election and finally win a seat as an alderman, finishing fourth out of 16 candidates. He was re-elected to a two year term in 1964 as well as in 1966.
After five years as alderman, he ran for mayor in 1968 and won in a very close race. He would be the first mayor in Edmonton’s history elected to a three year term, and he would be re-elected in 1971. In 1974, due to troubles from various events including a transit strike, he would lose his third bid to be mayor.
After his defeat, he went to Oxford to study public administration, and then came back to Canada to be principal of Rundle Elementary School. He stayed there until 1980.
He was credited with bringing the Commonwealth Games to Edmonton in 1977, and in 1984, he was awarded the Order of Canada, as well as the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005. He also served on the Board of Directors of SOS Children’s Villages Canada from 1995 to 2001.
He would pass away on March 29, 2009.