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Arnold Davidson Dunton

Throughout the controversies that arose over the funding and regulation of the new medium of television, Dunton was a persuasive defender of the corporation's independence and a strong advocate of the need to fund publicly a television system that would be of great national benefit.

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Bernard Ostry

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.

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Egerton Ryerson

Adolphus Egerton Ryerson, Methodist minister, educator (born 24 March 1803 in Charlotteville Township, Norfolk County, Upper Canada; died 18 February 1882 in Toronto, Ontario). Egerton Ryerson was a leading figure in education and politics in 19th century Ontario. He was born into a prominent Anglican, Loyalist family. He converted to Methodism and was ordained in 1827 in the Methodist Episcopal Church. He helped found and edit the Christian Guardian (1829), founded Upper Canada Academy (1836) and became the first principal of Victoria College (1841). He was known as a supporter of religious freedom and as the founder of the public education system in Ontario. Ryerson University was named in honour. However, his role in the development of residential schools has led to calls for the university to be renamed.

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David Currie, VC

David Vivian Currie, VC, auto mechanic, welder, soldier, House of Commons sergeant-at-arms (born 8 July 1912 in Sutherland, SK; died 24 June 1986 in Ottawa, ON). During the Second World War, Major Currie was the only member of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps to be awarded the Victoria Cross (VC), the highest award for bravery among troops of the British Empire.

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Arthur Thomas Bushby

Arthur Thomas Bushby. Amateur musician, civil servant, b London 2 Mar 1835, d New Westminster, BC, 18 May 1875. Bushby's 1856 diary shows that he played violin and sang in musical societies in London. He spent the summer of 1856 in Italy, studying voice, piano, and Italian.

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Jean-Louis Gagnon

Jean-Louis Gagnon, journalist, writer, political activist, civil servant (born 21 February 1913 in Québec City, Québec; died 26 May 2004 in Québec City).

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David Dingwall (Profile)

Forget, for a moment, his reputation as a throwback to the old-style, intensely partisan Ottawa wheeler-dealers. At a little past 8 a.m. on a steel-grey morning, David Dingwall is trying to lighten up. It does not come easily.

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Frederick A. Dixon

Frederick Augustus Dixon, playwright, journalist, civil servant (b at London, Eng 7 May 1843; d at Ottawa 12 Jan 1919). Educated at King's School, Canterbury, he came to Canada in the 1870s and worked as a journalist in Toronto.

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Solicitor General

The office of the solicitor general has its historic roots in England. In Canada the office varies substantially from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In some provinces the office of the solicitor general is subsumed under one or more different portfolios, but in most it is separate and distinct.

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Commissioner of Official Languages

Canada’s Commissioner of Official Languages ensures that the Official Languages Act (adopted in 1969, amended in 1988 and 2005) is followed within the federal government and the Parliament of Canada. The Commissioner also ensures that both of Canada’s official languages, English and French, are recognized as having equal status in accordance with Canada’s language policy.

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Daniel Grafton Hill

Daniel Grafton Hill, OC, O Ont, human rights specialist, historian, public servant (born 23 November 1923 in Independence, Missouri; died 26 June 2003 in Toronto, ON).

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Canada’s Cold War Purge of LGBTQ from Public Service

Between the 1950s and 1990s, the Canadian government responded to national security concerns generated by Cold War tensions with the Soviet Union by spying on, exposing and removing suspected LGBTQ individuals from the federal public service. They were cast as social and political subversives and seen as targets for blackmail by communist regimes seeking classified government information. These characterizations were justified by arguments that people who engaged in same-sex relations suffered from a “character weakness” and had something to hide because their sexuality was not only considered a taboo but, under certain circumstances, was illegal. As a result, the RCMP investigated large numbers of people, many of whom were fired, demoted or forced to resign — even if they had no access to security information. These measures were kept out of public view to prevent scandal and to keep counter-espionage operations under wraps.

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Lincoln Alexander

Lincoln MacCauley Alexander, CC, OOnt, QC, lieutenant-governor of Ontario 1985–91, member of Parliament 1968–80, lawyer, public servant (born 21 January 1922 in Toronto, ON; died 19 October 2012 in Hamilton, ON). Alexander was the first Black Canadian member of Parliament (1968), Cabinet minister (1979) and lieutenant-governor (Ontario, 1985). In recognition of his many important accomplishments, 21 January has been celebrated as Lincoln Alexander Day across Canada since 2015.

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Stanley G. Grizzle

Stanley George Sinclair Grizzle, CM, OOnt, citizenship judge, politician, civil servant, labour union activist (born 18 November 1918 in Toronto, ON; died 12 November 2016 in Toronto, ON). Stanley Grizzle had an illustrious career as a railway porter, soldier, civil servant, citizenship judge and activist for the rights of Black Canadians.

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Duncan Campbell Scott

Duncan Campbell Scott, poet, writer, civil servant (born 2 August 1862 in Ottawa, ON; died 19 December 1947 in Ottawa, ON). Scott’s complicated legacy encompasses both his work as an acclaimed poet and his role as a controversial public servant. Considered one of the “poets of the Confederation” — a group of English-language poets whose work laid the foundations for a tradition of Canadian poetry — his intense works made use of precise imagery and transitioned smoothly between traditional and modern styles. However, his literary work has arguably been overshadowed by his role as the deputy superintendent of the Department of Indian Affairs. He enforced and expanded residential schools, failed to respond to a tuberculosis epidemic and oversaw a treaty process that many claim robbed Indigenous peoples of land and rights. His oft-quoted goal to “get rid of the Indian problem” became, for many, characteristic of the federal government’s treatment of Indigenous peoples.