Derek James Walding (May 9, 1937—April 23, 2007)   taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia     Famous WGS boys and staff

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Speaker of the Canadian Parliament 1982-1986

As a politician in Manitoba, Canada. He was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 1971 to 1988, and served as speaker of the assembly from 1982 to 1986. Walding was a member of the New Democratic Party. In 1988, he brought down the NDP government of Howard Pawley by voting against his party's budget. Walding was born at Rushden in Northamptonshire, England. He was educated at Wellingborough Grammar School, 1948-1952served his military duty in Ireland, and graduated with top honours from the London School of Optometry. He moved to Canada in 1961, and worked as a dispensing optician.

Walding first ran for the Manitoba legislature in the 1969 provincial election, in the south-central Winnipeg constituency of St. Vital. He lost to Progressive Conservative Party candidate Jack Hardy by twenty-three votes in a close three-way race. Hardy resigned from the legislature in February 1971, and Walding won a by-election to replace him on April 5, defeating Liberal candidate Daniel Kennedy by 295 votes. Walding's victory helped consolidate a narrow NDP majority government in the provincial legislature, and served in the legislature as a backbench supporter of premier Edward Schreyer. He faced a serious challenge from Kennedy in the 1973 election, but won by 105 votes. The New Democrats were defeated in the 1977 provincial election, although Walding was personally re-elected with an increased plurality.

After Schreyer's appointment as Governor-General of Canada in 1979, Walding endorsed Sidney Green in his unsuccessful bid to become interim NDP leader. He later supported Howard Pawley, the successful candidate, at the party's leadership convention. The NDP returned to government in the 1981 provincial election.

Walding was not appointed to cabinet, as some expected. Instead, Pawley appointed him as speaker of the legislature on February 25, 1982. Over the next four years, his relationship with Pawley became increasingly strained. In 1983 and 1984, Walding allowed the opposition Progressive Conservatives to stall passage of the Pawley government's re-entrenchment of French-language rights. Initially, the Conservatives refused to enter the chamber to vote on the legislation, and Walding refused to call a vote in their absence. As a result, the division bells were allowed to ring for several hours at the end of each legislative day. When NDP cabinet minister Andy Anstett restricted the amount of time the bells could ring, the Conservatives boycotted the assembly entirely. Walding still refused to call a vote. On February 21, 1984, he refused a direct request from Pawley to move the legislative agenda forward. The house was eventually prorogued with the issue still unresolved. Many questioned the validity of Walding's decision.

 Sidney Green, who had left the NDP by this time and also opposed French-language re-entrenchment, nevertheless argued that Walding was wrong to give the Conservatives a means of disrupting the legislative process. Walding's actions made him extremely unpopular in his party. He was challenged for the St. Vital NDP nomination in 1986 by Sig Laser, a former Executive Assistant to Howard Pawley, and only retained his nomination by a single vote. Walding was re-elected in the general election of 1986 with a reduced majority. The NDP was re-elected with a narrow majority government, and Pawley did not re-appoint Walding as speaker.

As a backbencher, Walding spoke out against the Pawley government on several issues. He was particularly opposed to affirmative action legislation, which he regarded as discriminatory. Walding voted against his government's budget on March 8, 1988, despite having assured Finance Minister Eugene Kostyra that he would support it. Walding's defection caused the NDP to be defeated in the legislature, and they also lost the general election that followed. Walding was not a candidate.