HEAPS, ABRAHAM ALBERT

HEAPS, ABRAHAM ALBERT (1885–1954), Canadian Labour leader, politician. Heaps was born in Leeds, England and attended school until 13, when he went to work to help support his family. He apprenticed as an upholsterer, and opened his own workshop and managed a large furniture store before he immigrated to Canada in 1911. Once in Winnipeg, Heaps worked as an upholsterer for the Canadian Pacific Railway and became active in the local labor movement. He also joined the English branch of the Social Democratic Party of Canada, and was a pacifist in World War I. After two failed attempts to secure a seat as alderman, Heaps was elected in a 1917 by-election and subsequently won his seat easily. Heaps was one of the main leaders of the Winnipeg General Strike, heading the strikers' Relief Committee. He was charged with seditious conspiracy and, after his release on bail, traveled to various Canadian cities to raise support and funds for the defense of the strikers. His conducted his own defense at his 1920 trial, and was the only one acquitted of the eight charged with seditious conspiracy. After several years in the insurance business, Heaps was elected in 1925 to the federal House of Commons. He served as a Member of Parliament representing the heavily Jewish riding of Winnipeg North until 1940, first for the Independent Labour Party and then for the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). He served as parliamentary whip for the CCF after 1935, and with the head of the CCF, J.S. Woodsworth, he strongly advocated the passage of social legislation, such as the federal old age pension and unemployment insurance. Heaps' greatest sense of failure was his inability to convey the threat of the totalitarian regimes in Russia, Italy, and especially Germany. Resorting first to quiet diplomacy, he tried in vain to convince the federal government to open Canada up to desperate Jewish refugees from Hitler's Germany. He was no more successful with the public condemnation of the government of Mackenzie King. Despite Heaps' often-stated belief in the complete and vigorous prosecution of the Canadian war effort in World War II, Woodsworth's opposition to the declaration of war in September 1939 made Heaps suspect as well, and he was defeated in the federal election of 1940. Heaps subsequently held several government jobs, before moving to Montreal, where he briefly worked in the dress industry and as an arbitrator of labor disputes before his retirement. Heaps married Bessie Morris (d. 1938) in 1913, and they had two sons, David and Leo, both of whom earned the Military Cross for distinguished wartime records. Leo also served with the Israeli army during the War of Independence. Heaps remarried in 1947, to Fanny Almond. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: H. and M. Gutkin, Profiles in Dissent: The Shaping of Radical Thought in the Canadian West (1997); L. Heaps, Rebel in the House: The Life and Times of A.A. Heaps, M.P. (rev. ed., 1984). (Henry Trachtenberg (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Abraham Albert Heaps — (December 24 1885 ndash; April 4 1954) was a Canadian politician and labor leader. Born in Leeds, England, Heaps immigrated to Canada in 1911 and worked in Winnipeg as an upholsterer. He was one of the leaders of the Winnipeg General Strike of… …   Wikipedia

  • Adrian Heaps — Adrian A. Heaps (born c. 1954) is a politician in Toronto, Canada for Scarborough Southwest Ward 35. He was elected to Toronto city council on November 13, 2006, in Ward 35 after incumbent Gerry Altobello was appointed a justice of the peace. He… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Jews in Canada — Canada has the world s fourth largest Jewish population.ref|jppistudy According to the Canada 2001 Census, there are an estimated 351,000 Jews currently living in Canada. Though a small minority, Jews have been important in shaping Canadian… …   Wikipedia

  • List of articles about CCF/NDP members — This article lists Wikipedia articles about members of the Co operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), and its successor, the New Democratic Party (NDP), social democratic political parties in Canada. See also List of Labour MPs (Canada), List of …   Wikipedia

  • Solomon Hart Green — (October 23, 1885 ndash; April 13, 1969) was a politician in Manitoba, Canada. He served in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 1910 to 1914, as a Liberal. He is notable as the first Jewish Canadian to serve in the legislature.Green was… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Members of the Canadian House of Commons - H — Ha * Joseph Alphonse Anaclet Habel b. 1895 first elected in 1953 as Liberal member for Cochrane, Ontario. * Edward Hackett b. 1840 first elected in 1878 as Liberal Conservative member for Prince County, Prince Edward Island. * John Thomas Hackett …   Wikipedia

  • 15e législature du Canada — La distribution initiale des sièges lors de la 15e législature du Canada …   Wikipédia en Français

  • 17e législature du Canada — La distribution initiale des sièges aux débuts de la 17e législature du Canada …   Wikipédia en Français

  • 18e législature du Canada — La distribution initiale des sièges aux débuts de la 18e législature du Canada …   Wikipédia en Français

  • 16e législature du Canada — La distribition initiale des sièges aux débuts de la 16e législature du Canada …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.