J. Albert Richardson

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Who is J. Albert Richardson?

J. Albert Richardson was a trade unionist and politician who was leader of the New Brunswick New Democratic Party from 1970 until 1976 save for a one month interruption in late 1971.

A woods contractor in the Miramichi, Richardson became active in the union movement and was a staff representative with the Canadian Food and Allied Workers union and later served as secretary-treasurer of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour from 1981 to 1986.

As NDP leader, Richardson was on the right wing of the party and opposed to the militancy of radicalized university students involved with the NDP. He criticized left winger NDPers who had protested the implementation of the War Measures Act during the 1970 October Crisis and was challenged by the New Brunswick chapter of The Waffle, a left wing faction in the NDP made up of Marxist students as well as older leftist activists. Under the leadership of veteran Fredericton socialist Pat Callaghan, the Waffle narrowly had its manifesto adopted by the New Brunswick NDP at a convention in the fall of 1971. The Waffle took over the party with Callaghan displacing Richardson as leader in October 1971. However, the federal party intervened and called a special convention the next month which routed the Waffle and restored Richardson as party leader.

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Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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