• Dalhousie University Law School, LLB 1964
    • Sir James Dunn Scholarship in Law
    • Awarded G.O Forsythe Prize for scholarship and Character
    • Faculty of Law Scholarship
  • Acadia University BA (Hons) History 1960
    • Thesis: “Wesleyanism as a Vehicle of Social and Political Criticism in the Century before 1848”
    • Ralph M Hunt Prize in Political Science
    • Class Valedictorian
    • President History Club
    • President Philosophy Club
    • Editor of Acadia Athenaeum
    • President Student Christian Movement
  • Wolfville High School 1956


  • Lawyer, Civil Litigation Stewart McKelvey Stirling and Scales (1965-1990), and subsequently at two other firms for a total of 36 years
  • Taught law:
    • Dalhousie University Law School
    • Technical University of Nova Scotia
    • St Mary’s University
  • Lecturer in Pre-Retirement Seminars Wills and Estate Planning for the NS Department of Education (1976-1990)         
  • Member of the Canadian Bar Association;
  • Member of the Nova Scotia Barrister’s Society;
  • Director Board of Governors Law Foundation of Nova Scotia

Law Society Engagements

  • Member, Professional Standards Committee
  • Member Unauthorized Practices Committee
  • Member, Reimbursement Fund Committee
  • Member, Inter-Provincial/Inter-Jurisdictional Law Practice Committee

Other Legal Services

  • Lecturer, Panelist and Chairman at Refresher Courses in Family Law.
  • Demonstrator at Dalhousie Law School in Advocacy, on direct and cross-examination.
  • Participation in Civil Litigation panels at Bar Admission Course
  • Advisor to the Minister of Social Services regarding Matrimonial Property Act
  • Panelist, Medical – Legal Society

The Senate of Canada

  • Summoned to the Senate Sept 7, 1990
  • Elected Speaker pro tempore
  • Chair, Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs
  • Chair, Senate Standing Committee on National Finance
  • Chair, Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry
  • Chair, Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications
  • Chair, Senate Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the rights of Parliament.
  • Co-Chair, Special Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons on Code of Conduct
  • Member, Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce

Political Activity

  • 50+ Years in Politics, holding posts at all levels in the Progressive Conservative Party
  • Director of Legal Services in 6 General Elections; 1972, 1974,1979,1980,1984, and 1988.
  • National Vice-President Atlantic Region
  • Vice-President Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party
  • Director of PC Canada Fund, and member of the Audit Committee
  • Constitution chair and member of the Finance Committee for the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia
  • Director, National Campaign Committee 1978 Progressive Conservative Party of Canada
  • Chairman, Policy Committee on Social Justice, Federal Annual Meeting 1978
  • Member, Credentials Committee, Leadership Convention, 1983
  • Member, Regulations Committee, Leadership Convention, 1983
  • Lecturer Progressive Conservative Candidates Training Schools (1979 – 1984)

Community Service

  • Honorary Trustee, Tom Thompson Art Foundation
  • Member Board of Regents of the Nova Scotia Council for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
  • Director Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (Appointed Lifetime Honorary Governor)
  • President, Director Neptune Theatre Foundation (Appointed Honorary Life Director)
  • President, Chair Children’s Aid Society of Nova Scotia
  • Governor Technical University of Nova Scotia
  • Atlantic Provinces Co-Chair Canadian Council of Christians and Jews
  • Chairman Metro Volunteer Resource Centre
  • Chairman, Board of Directors, Halifax Neighbourhood Centre Project
  • Member Executive Committee, Nova Scotia Leadership Prayer Breakfast
  • Chairman Canadian Association of Visible Minorities
  • Member Special Advisory Council Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs
  • Atlantic Provinces Representative Canada/China Friendship Cultural Exchange to China
  • Director, National Youth Orchestra
  • Director, Atlantic Ballet Company
  • Director, Atlantic Baptist Foundation
  • Director, NS Rehabilitation Council
  • Director, Hearing and Speech Clinic
  • Director, Halifax Dartmouth Welfare Council
  • Director, Halifax Dartmouth United Appeal
  • Director, Dalhousie Alumni Association
  • Director, Acadia Alumni Association
  • Director, Halifax Youth Communication Society
  • Director, Junior Achievement of Halifax
  • Director, Community Business Initiative Advisory Board Federal Business Development Bank
  • Director, Halifax Court House Commission
  • Director, Nova Scotia Election Commission

Contribution to and advancement of the Black Community

  • Director Black North Initiative (BNI)
  • Vice-President Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People. (NSAACP)
  • Founding President and First Chairman of the Board of the Society for the Protection and Preservation of Black Culture in Nova Scotia
  • Founding Director Black United Front
  • Advisory Committee Member Black Business and Professional Association, Toronto, Ontario
  • Director James R Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies at Dalhousie University
  • Chairman Association for Higher Education and Development (AHEAD)
  • Member and Co-Chair Advisory Board for the Indigenous and Black and MicMac program at Dalhousie Law School
  • Atlantic Provinces Representative to the Honourable Robert d’Cotre for the Advisory Committee on the Employment of Visible Minorities in the Public Service
  • Atlantic Provinces Representative in Ethiopia Operation Crossroads Africa Incorporated
  • Raised funding to spearhead the first national comprehensive research study documenting the barriers to the advancement of visible minorities in both the public and private sectors.
  • Patron National Council of Black Educators of Canada
  • Committee Chair, African Diaspora Scholarship Empowerment Fund –University of Windsor
  • National Co-Chair President’s Advisory Group to fund a Chair on Canadian Black Studies at Dalhousie University
  • Governor National Council of Black Educators of Canada
  • Director, Atlantic Branch, Operation Crossroads Africa Incorporated

Honours and Awards

  • Member Order of Canada
  • Member Order of Nova Scotia
  • Awarded Canada 150 Medal for unselfish service to community and country
  • Awarded Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • Awarded Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal
  • Awarded Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Confederation of Canada
  • Awarded Distinguished Men of Honour Award from the Black Business and Professional Association of Toronto
  • 2011 DreamKEEPERS Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Martin Luther King Day Coalition
  • African-Canadian Achievement Award for Outstanding Achievement in Politics from Pride News Magazine
  • Harry Jerome Award for Community Services from the Black Business and Professional Association
  • Freedom Award from the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia
  • Special Recognition for Achievement by a Notable Black Canadian from the Black Business and Professional Association, and the Toronto Raptors
  • Leadership Award from Planet Africa
  • Outstanding Achievement Award from the National Council of Visible Minorities in the Public Service
  • Human Rights Award from the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission
  • Rev Dr. W.P. Oliver Wall of Honour “Hero” Award from the Black Cultural Society of Nova Scotia
  • Honorary Patron – AHEAD (Association for Higher Education and Development

Honorary Degrees

  • Honorary Doctor of Laws – Saint Mary’s University
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws – York University
  • Honorary Doctor of Civil Law – Acadia University
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws – University of Guelph
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws – Dalhousie University


  • Cooking and entertaining
  • Reading and writing
  • Listening to classical music and Jazz
  • Gardening
  • Wine tasting and appreciation
  • Grand Pilier General (2010-2012), Member (1986- Present), Commanderie du Canada of the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin
  • Author “Men Can Cook Too” Gourmet Cookbook


  • Married to M. Linda Oliver (nee MacLellan) They have one daughter, Carolynn. The family enjoys cooking and travel.


Residence         (902-685-3873)