The Canada Institute of the Wilson Center mourns the death of the Honourable Michael Wilson who served as a Canada Institute Advisory Board member for over 10 years.

Michael Wilson was Ambassador of Canada to the United States from 2006-2009. Previously, Ambassador Wilson served as Minister of Finance, Minister of Industry, Science and Technology as well as Minister for International Trade where he oversaw the negotiations of the groundbreaking North American Free Trade Agreement. His work and dedication as Ambassador and his ministerial portfolios critically enhanced the relationship between Canada and the United States.

After retirement from the public service, Ambassador Wilson served as a leader in the financial industry, most recently serving as the Chairman of Barclays Capital Canada. During this time, Wilson was appointed an Advisory Board Member of the Canada Institute Policy Circle. His depth of knowledge on trade and foreign policy helped to advance the work of the Canada Institute in Washington, DC.

Says Laura Dawson, Canada Institute Director:

As a student of Canada-U.S. trade policy, I deeply admired the work of Michael Wilson, both as trade minister during the NAFTA negotiations, and as finance minister during the original Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement negotiations. He brought gravitas and incredible technical knowledge to his economic policy work but he could also surprise you with a wry sense of humor.  Although he will rightfully be remembered as one of the founders of the modern integrated North American trade regime, I think one of Michael Wilson’s greatest legacies was his commitment to youth mental health, especially at a time when the issue had few champions in the public domain.

Michael Wilson’s commitment to both public service and community embodied the ideals of President Woodrow Wilson who said, “There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed.”

We are saddened by his loss and thank him for his dedicated years of service to the Canada Institute.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons