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Elon Musk’s Canadian and Saskatchewan roots

Elon Musk speaking at Tesla shareholder meeting in 2019
Credit: Steve Jurvetson/Flickr/Wikipedia Creative Commons 2.0

Elon Musk is the founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. He also founded Paypal, which he sold in 2002. With a personal wealth of $222 billion, Bloomberg declared Elon Musk the world’s richest man at the close of 2021.

But he has some connections to Canada, particularly Saskatchewan.

For those who don’t know, Elon Musk’s mother, Maye, was born in 1948 in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Her family moved to South Africa in 1950, where Maye eventually married a South African man and where Elon was born.

Maye was actually a finalist in the 1969 Miss South Africa Beauty Contest. Divorced, she returned to Canada with her older children in 1990, and though now in her seventies, continues to work as a fashion model in Toronto. She has been featured in Revlon ads, New York Magazine and even made an appearance in a Beyoncé video.

Elon had gone to Canada a year before his mother and in 1989, at the age of 17, he moved to Swift Current, Saskatchewan, and worked for a few weeks at a relative’s family farm near Waldeck. He eventually decided to go to Queen’s College in Kingston, Ontario, which started his journey to where he is today.

But Elon’s grandfather has a particularly interesting Saskatchewan connection.


Elon Musk’s grandmother, Winnifred, was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and his grandfather, Joshua Norman Haldeman, moved to Herbert, Saskatchewan from Minnesota in 1907. He studied at Moose Jaw College, where he met his wife.

Joshua was a farmer, chiropractor, bronc rider, airplane pilot and even organized one of Canada’s first rodeos.

But he became interested in politics after the government seized his 5,000-acre farm during the dirty thirties, when, like many, he ran into financial difficulties.

He was a conservative with libertarian leanings and strongly opposed socialism that was becoming popular in Saskatchewan and Nazism. He even helped start the Canadian version of the Technocratic Party, which was temporarily banned in Canada.

His grandfather’s political leanings may have laid the roots for Elon Musk’s interest in technology. According to the Regina LeaderPost, the party, which still exists today, had an interesting philosophy:

Technocracy is a political philosophy that advocates government by skill, rather than by opinion. The government is designed to use science and technology to distribute services to citizens, instead of relying on human opinions or traditions.

It also seems that Joshua did a stint in jail when he ran an ad for the party during its banned period.

Joshua later unsuccessfully ran as a Social Credit candidate in several federal and political elections.

At the time, Saskatchewan was being governed by the Cooperative Commonwealth Party (CCF) led by Tommy Douglas. The CCF was an extreme-left party that was nationalizing successful businesses in the province and buying farmland where it set up communal farms, popularized during the rise of communism in the old Soviet Union.

Joshua was so disgusted by what was happening, he decided to move his family to South Africa. He even had his family dismantle his plane and ship it to South Africa, where Joshua died after his plane caught a wire, flipping his plane.

READ: Elon Musk’s Fascinating History With Moose Jaw AND Elon Musk’s Mom Is A Stunning 69-Year-Old Saskatchewan-Born Model AND Before Elon Musk was thinking about Mars and electric cars, he was doing chores on a Saskatchewan farm

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