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Joseph William (Joe) Burton (October 12, 1892 - August 1, 1960) was a Canadian politician and farmer.

Burton was a grand knight of the Knights of Columbus and a staunch Roman Catholic and socialist who argued during political meetings meetings in Humboldt, Saskatchewan that the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation was more in line with the demands for social justice made in papal encyclicals than other parties.[1]

He was elected to the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly in a 1938 provincial by-election becoming the only Catholic MLA in the province. In an August 9, 1943 federal by-election, he was elected to the Canadian House of Commons representing Humboldt for the CCF.[1] He was re-elected in the 1945 general election but defeated in 1949.[2]

During a 1947 debate in the House, Burton explained the compatibility of his religious and political views:

The Church to which I belong, condemns in no uncertain terms the type of socialism that interferes with a person's religious beliefs, which is opposed to the ownership of private property. None of these are policies of the CCF. As the years have gone by, we have seen many kinds of socialism throughout the world and for want of a better term we have applied to the philosophy and principles of the CCF the expression "socialist" because the fundamental principles of our policy are to build laws around the protection of society rather than the protection of capital.[3]

After losing his federal seat, Burton returned to provincial politics as a Saskatchewan CCF MLA in the 1952 provincial election and served as Provincial Secretary in Tommy Douglas' cabinet from 1952 until the 1956 provincial election[4] when he was defeated by Mary Batten of the Saskatchewan Liberal Party.[5]


  1. ^ a b Sister Teresita Kambeitz, "Relations Between the Catholic Church and CCF in Saskatchewan, 1930-1950"
  2. ^ Burton, Joseph, biography, Library of Parliament
  3. ^ Hansard, March 24, 1947, p. 1701.
  4. ^ Saskatchewan Ministers, Archives of Saskatchewan
  5. ^ Batten, Mary John, Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan

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