Distinguished Alumnus David Anderson

David Anderson

David Anderson was recognized with the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award for Public Service. David attended St. Michael’s School from 1945-1947 followed by Victoria College, now the University of Victoria, and University of British Columbia where he graduated with a law degree in 1962. During his UBC days he won a silver medal for rowing in the Pan American Games and a silver medal in the 1960 Olympics Games.

Following university, he served in the Department of External Affairs – his posts including Indochina and Hong Kong. In 1968, he entered federal politics and was elected Liberal MP for Esquimalt-Saanich. He was a Liberal Member of the Legislative Assembly until 1975.

In 1993 David reentered politics in the cabinet of Jean Chretien as Minister of National Revenue, Minister of Transport, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. He succeeded in negotiating an agreement with the United States to conserve salmon stocks under the Pacific Salmon Treaty.

During his time in elected office, David was the strong Canadian voice in concerns over offshore drilling, pipeline developments and tanker traffic. In 1999, he was appointed Environment Minister where much of his work focused on the Rio Summit conventions on biodiversity and climate change. He was successful in getting the species at Risk Act passed and signed into law and securing Canadian ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.

In international work, he was the first Canadian elected president of the governing council of the United Nations Environment Program and played a strong part in the G8 and OECD Environment Ministers’ meetings.

David has held positions as an Environmental Consultant focusing on coastal and wetland protection and marine pollution from oil exploration and transportation.

David has been recognized with a number of honorary degrees – including Doctor of Laws from the University of Victoria and a Doctor of Science from Wilfred Laurier University. Most recently, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and named to the Order of British Columbia.

Return to the Distinguished Alumni Award page.