University of Manitoba - University Governance - Sylvia Ostry, LL.D., May 27, 1986
Sylvia Ostry, LL.D., May 27, 1986
Dr. Sylvia Ostry
B.A.(Hons), M.A., Ph.D. (McGill University)

I have the honour to present Dr. Sylvia Ostry, B.A.(Hons), M.A., Ph.D. (McGill University).

Sylvia Ostry was born in Winnipeg and began her post-secondary education at this University. However, after a year in medicine, she abandoned both University and that discipline, going on to do undergraduate and graduate degrees in Economics at McGill University in Montreal. In 1954 she was awarded her Ph.D. degree for a dissertation entitled "The Development of Countries of Arrested Economic Development: The First Indian Five Year Plan 1950-54."

At first, it seemed that an academic career might result. Lecturing at Sir George Williams was followed by positions at McGill, Carleton, and the University of Montreal, and the first of a long and continuing series of publications began to appear. Once again, however, a change occurred, and in 1964 Dr. Ostry entered the Federal Civil Service.
Her first position on the road to what was to be a distinguished career in Ottawa was Assistant Director for Research in the Labour Division of the Dominion Bureau of Statistics. She remained with the Bureau until 1969 when she became Director of the Economic Council of Canada, directing research into Canada's medium term economic future. There then followed a period as the nation's Chief Statistician, and in 1975 a three year term as Deputy Minister for Consumer and Corporate Affairs. In 1978 she was made Chairperson of the Economic Council of Canada.

At this point in Dr. Ostry's career, a wider stage beckoned. From 1979-83, she was in Paris where she served the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development as Head of the Department of Economics and Statistics. This stint over, she returned to Ottawa to become Deputy Minister in charge of International Economic Relations.

Currently Dr. Ostry is Deputy Minister for Multilateral Trade Negotiations and the Prime Minister's Personal Representative for the Economic Summit.

Dr. Ostry's standing has been widely recognized. She has been awarded honourary degrees by many of our sister Universities. She has been further honoured by being made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Madam Chancellor, I ask in the name of the Senate of the University of Manitoba that you confer on Sylvia Ostry the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa.