Margaret Haile was active in the socialist movements in both Canada and the United States. Frederic Heath's "Socialism in America," published in January 1900 in the Social Democracy Red Book, lists her, along with Corinne Stubbs Brown and Eugene V. Debs, among "One Hundred Well-known Social Democrats".
Born in Canada, Haile spent some time working for socialist causes in New England. A resident of Massachusetts in 1901, Haile was a member of the Executive Board of the Social Democratic Party as it planned the formation of the Socialist Party of America. She was one of two women on the nine-member board, and may have been the first woman to serve on the board of an American Socialist organization.
Haile returned to Canada shortly thereafter, and became in 1902 the first woman to run for legislative office in Canada, when she was nominated on the platform of the Canadian Socialist League as a candidate in Toronto North in the 1902 Ontario provincial election. Although her nomination was accepted and she received 79 votes, a woman was not eligible to sit as a member of the Legislative Assembly. She may have been the first woman to run for major elected office within the entire British Empire. [*]
Appearances and Mentions
- Margaret Haile and Clara Brett Martin encourage Julia to run for elected office.
- Miss Margaret Haile runs for the provincial legislature of Ontario. Along with Dr. Grace, Dr. Ogden, and Lillian Moss, they support Margaret Haile and the Suffragette Movement. On Election Day, Margaret Haile's name does not appear on the ballot. They get the help of their lawyer and supporter, Clara Brett Martin, who petitions the court for an injunction. They protest, blocking the doors of the polling station. Clara Brett Martin soon has her injunction and the name is corrected on the ballot. Margaret Haile receives 79 votes in the 1902 Ontario Provincial Election.