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Ernest Edward Winch was born in Harlow, England, in 1879. He died at the Vancouver General Hospital in January, 1957. And during his restless life that stretched between those poles of destiny he established himself not only as a politician, and an uncompromising socialist at that, but primarily as a friend of the poor and the week. Settling permanently in the Lower Mainland of B.C. in 1910, Ernest Winch, bricklayer, joined the Bricklayer's and Stonemason's International Union, No. 1, Vancouver. During the next fifteen years he was an active unionist, especially as an organizer in the International Longshoremen's Association, B.C. Loggers Union, and Lumber and Camp Worker's Industrial Union of the One Big Union. He also served a term as secretary of the Vancouver, New Westminster, and District Trades and Labour Council.
In equating the advancement of the working class with the advancement of the socialist movement, he held membership cards in the Social Democratic Party of Canada, B.C. Federated Labor Party, Independent Labor Party, and Socialist Party of Canada prior to his involvement with the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. In 1933, he was elected to represent Burnaby in the provincial legislature on behalf of the C.C.F. and continued to represent that constituency until his death. During that period of time he was a leading proponent of social legislation in the areas of workers' compensation, prison reform, mental illness, drug addiction, and housing for senior citizens.