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Former Manitoba premier John Bracken honoured.

John Bracken Highway has been designated the official name of a 195-kilometre section of PTH 10 from the International Peace Garden north to Riding Mountain National Park, to honour the longest-serving premier in Manitoba history.

The official John Bracken Highway signs will be posted along PTH 10, a route that passes through rolling hills and verdant agricultural land. The sign was unveiled this summer at a ceremony in Brandon, about halfway between the north and south endpoints on the designated section of highway. Members of the Bracken family travelled to Brandon for the unveiling from across Canada and the United States.

"This is a tremendous honour to have bestowed on the Bracken name, a lasting tribute to our father and grandfather," said Michael Bracken, grandson of the former premier. "He was a leader in many ways as the head of our family, a politician and an educator."

Bracken was born in Ellisville, Ontario in 1883, and worked as a professor at the University of Saskatchewan before being appointed as principal of the Manitoba Agricultural College in 1920. In 1922, Bracken became premier of Manitoba and represented The Pas in the Manitoba legislature. Although he regarded himself as a Progressive, most of his governments were political coalitions, distinguished for their cautious non-partisanship and reflective of the rural interests of the province.

After his time as premier of Manitoba, from 1922 to 1943, he entered federal politics. In 1943, Bracken became leader of the federal Conservative Party and stepped down from the leadership in 1948. During his time, he had the word "Progressive" added to the party name. He served as chair of a Royal Commission on liquor laws of Manitoba. He was also chair of the Box Car Commission in 1959, established to investigate the distribution of railway cars. He was the author of two significant books on scientific agriculture, Crop Production in Western Canada (1920) and Dry Farming in Western Canada (1921).

Bracken married Alice Wylie Bruce in June 1909, with whom he had four sons. The couple was inducted into the Manitoba Order of the Buffalo Hunt on their 50th wedding anniversary. John Bracken retired to Manotick, Ontario. He died 18 March 1969, in Ottawa.

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Publication:Manitoba History
Geographic Code:1CMAN
Date:Sep 22, 2016
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