Bernard Ostry, public servant (b at Wadena, Sask 10 Jun 1927). After studying history at U of Man, Ostry launched an academic career at the universities of London and Birmingham in England. There, in collaboration with H.S. Ferns, he published The Age of Mackenzie King: The Rise of the Leader (1955; 2nd ed, 1976), a critical and controversial study of the former prime minister.
Ostry returned to Canada in the late 1950s, working for the CBC 1960-68 as a broadcaster and subsequently as an administrator in the public affairs department. He was then a commissioner on a prime-ministerial task force regarding government information, and one of the authors of its report, To Know and Be Known (1969); this provided a transition for the ambitious and now well-connected Ostry to the top level of the federal government cultural bureaucracy. He was assistant undersecretary of state 1970-73; secretary general, National Museums of Canada, 1974-78; and finally deputy minister of communications 1978-80.
His strong views on the importance of the arts and the government's role in cultural life are contained in his The Cultural Connection (1978).