Leonard Walter Brockington

Leonard Walter Brockington, first chairman of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (b at Cardiff, Wales 6 Apr 1888; d at Toronto 15 Sept 1966).

Leonard Walter Brockington, first chairman of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (b at Cardiff, Wales 6 Apr 1888; d at Toronto 15 Sept 1966). He immigrated to Edmonton in 1912 and moved to Calgary shortly after. He was called to the bar in 1919, and was Calgary city solicitor for more than 20 years. His wide interest in the arts led to his appointment as chairman of the CBC 1936-39, an unpaid office. He oversaw the establishment of a national network of high-powered regional transmitters and significant increases in program production.

Brockington established for the CBC the principles of nonpartisanship and nonsponsored broadcasts. He felt free speech was best promoted through the free apportionment of time to competent speakers on various sides of controversial issues, as opposed to the sale of time to individuals or commercial concerns. He was a skilled arbitrator, called on to arbitrate disputes between the US government and its employees at the UN, the Toronto Transportation Commission and its employees, the Seafarers' Union and the shipowners, and other disputes.

Brockington became special assistant to Prime Minister Mackenzie King 1939-42, and was adviser on Commonwealth affairs to the British ministry of information, 1942-43, for which he received the CMG. He was president of Odeon Theatres in Canada, a member of the first Canada Council and rector of Queen's.