Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Ginger Group was not a formal political party in Canada, but a faction of radical Progressive and Labour Members of Parliament who advocated socialism. The group took its name from Ginger Goodwin, a United Mine Workers organizer. Ginger was shot dead outside Cumberland, British Columbia by company hired private policemen on July 27, 1918. His murder sparked Canada's first general strike.
The Ginger Group split from the declining Progressive Party in 1924, and was made up of United Farmers of Alberta MPs G.C. Coote , Robert Gardiner , E.J. Garland , D.M. Kennedy and Henry Spencer as well as United Farmers of Ontario MP Agnes Macphail. The group was later joined by Independent Labour MPs J.S. Woodsworth, William Irvine , A.A. Heaps and Angus MacInnis, as well as a number of Independents.
Members of the Ginger Group played a role in forming the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation in 1932, with Woodsworth becoming the new party's leader.
The term "ginger group" is still occasionally applied as political jargon to describe groups of allied independent MPs sitting in Canada's House of Commons. In 2001 a "ginger group" of 13 former Canadian Alliance MPs created the Democratic Representative Caucus or DRC which was not a political party but a faction of CA MPs disenchanted with the party leadership. The rump "Progressive Conservative parliamentary caucus" that sat in the House of Commons and Senate from December 2003 to May 2004 was also sometimes referred to as a ginger group.
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