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Public policy leader

Frank McKenna award for Honorary Research Professor

Research

By Janet Harron

Retired Memorial sociology professor Dr. Douglas House has received the Frank McKenna Award for Leadership in Public Policy.

Dr. House was recognized for his substantial contribution to public policy in Atlantic Canada.

Dr. Doug House
Photo: Stephen MacGillivray

Since 2013 the Public Policy Forum has presented awards to distinguished Atlantic Canadians who have built bridges between sectors, contributed to public policy and shown exceptional leadership.

The award was named in honour of Mr. McKenna, a three-term premier of New Brunswick and former ambassador to the United States, in 2017.

Lifetime achievement

A lifetime achievement award, the Frank McKenna Award recognizes Dr. House’s active involvement in public affairs as chair of two commissions, a task force and as policy advisor and deputy minister.

Among the specific initiatives connected to his contribution to public affairs are a recommendation to establish a commercialization agency at Memorial, which became Memorial’s Genesis Centre; a recommendation to establish an agency to focus on fisheries innovation, which led to the formation of the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation at the Marine Institute; the establishment of the Conservation Corps of Newfoundland and Labrador; and a recommendation to establish a centre for regional development at Memorial, which ultimately resulted in the Harris Centre.

“This recognition means a lot, not just for me personally, but also as a collective recognition for all the dedicated people who worked with me over the years,” Dr. House said. “It is also about time that the Public Policy Forum recognized Newfoundlanders and Labradorians — there are many others as deserving or more deserving than myself.

“I also appreciate that the award is named after Frank McKenna,” Dr. House continued. “I respect him as one of Canada’s best premiers. His time as premier coincided with that of Clyde Wells in Newfoundland and Labrador and my time as chair of the Economic Recovery Commission. I remember well making a presentation to the McKenna cabinet in the early 1990s about income security reform.”

The award was presented to Dr. House and his fellow recipients at the recent Public Policy Forum’s Atlantic summit in Fredericton, N.B.


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