All of us associated with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute were devastated to learn of the death yesterday at age 82 of Canadian businessman and lawyer Purdy Crawford.
Crawford, an inductee of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, was an early supporter of MLI when it was founded in 2010 and served on the Institute’s advisory board.
“Purdy was one of a kind, but that will not prevent all of us who benefited from his leadership from doing all we can to continue to act on the values he helped to instill in us”, wrote Brian Lee Crowley, Managing Director of MLI, in a blog post.
“Knowing him was an unforgettable privilege – I stood on the broad shoulders of a giant who never let me down”.
Originally from Nova Scotia, Crawford obtained degrees from Mount Allison University, Dalhousie Law School and Harvard School. He pursued his legal career with Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt and served as CEO with Imasco.
Following his retirement in 1995, he served on the boards of several Canadian companies and not-for-profit corporations, including the Foundation Board of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.
In addition to his efforts in business and law, the National Post also remembers Crawford as a passionate supporter of good public policy.
He served on an Ontario government committee in the 1960s that produced several recommendations which would form the basis of the province’s securities law. He later examined the creation of a national securities regulator as head of the province’s Crawford panel.
Crawford also lent his weight to MLI’s attempts to break down barriers to trade between the provinces. In 2010, he supported the Institute’s proposal for the federal government to create an Economic Charter of Rights that would compel provinces to remove these barriers.
We at MLI would like to express our deepest sympathies to Mr. Crawford’s family and the many many others who feel the pain of this great man’s passing.