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Alexander Thomas Davidson
January 11, 1926 - July 28, 2017
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<div itemprop="description">Alexander (Al) Thomas Davidson <br>Member of the Order of Canada <br><br>Born in Fort William, Ontario on January 11, 1926. Al passed away peacefully at Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario on July 28, 2017 at 91 years of age. Dear husband and best friend to Joan Alexander. Loving father to Chuck (Eva), Ron (Lynn), James (Anne), John (Cindy), and loving grandfather to thirteen grandchildren. Survived by his niece Gerry Matyczuk. Pre-deceased by James Morry Davidson(father),Charlotte Emma Potter (mother) and Ollie Davidson(brother).<br><br>Al served in the Canadian Navy during the Second World War. Following his service, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in geography from Queen’s University (1948), and a Master of Arts degree in geography from the University of Toronto (1951). In 1991 Al was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Waterloo in Environmental Studies. Al greatly valued education, and had a boundless passion for learning. <br><br>Following his graduation from the University of Toronto, Al’s love for the outdoors coupled with his concern about the conservation of land, forests, rivers, and wildlife led him to pursue a career in public service. Over a thirty-five year career, he served in senior public servant roles for both the Government of Saskatchewan and the Government of Canada. Highlights of his career include: Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) of Field Operations in the Ministry of Natural Resources Saskatchewan, ADM of Water, ADM of Policy, Planning and Research in the Department of the Environment and ADM of Parks Canada. <br><br>He made a name for himself as a sensible policy-maker and a good steward of Canada’s natural resources. He helped to negotiate the first Great Lakes Agreement, launched the Canada Land Inventory, oversaw the establishment of the Canadian Heritage River system and marine conservation areas, and led the establishment of dozens of national parks and national historic sites.<br><br>In addition to his work in the public service, Al volunteered for several non-governmental organizations. He was President of the Canadian Association of Geographers, President of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, and President of the Canadian Wildlife Foundation. <br><br>In 2007, Al became a Member of the Order of Canada, bestowed on him for his outstanding environmental conservation work both inside and outside of government. He was also a proud recipient of the Massey medal an honour bestowed by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (1999). Looking back on his career, Al fondly recounted that it was a geographers dream. He will continue to be an inspiration, an example of how someone can work with persistence and tirelessness to make a difference for his community and the country.<br>Al spent some of his time in retirement curling. He enjoyed his fellow curlers and their friendship. <br><br>We would like to thank the kind and compassionate palliative care staff at Elisabeth Bruyere for their end of life care. They provided dignity for all family members at a difficult time in his life. <br>A private family funeral service in memory of Al will be held on August 2, 2017.<br>For those who wish , donations could be made to the Royal Canadian Geographic Society in his memory. <br></div>