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The Globe and Mail

William A. Macdonald

William A. Macdonald

William A. Macdonald

Profile

Bill Macdonald is corporate lawyer turned consultant with a long history of public service and social engagement.

Born and raised in Montreal, he spent 42 years at the Toronto law firm now known as McMillan, two decades as senior partner (recruiting John Turner to the firm in 1976 when the future prime minister took a political hiatus).

Mr. Macdonald left McMillan in 1993 to consult on a range of activities,  from government relations and economic policy to the environment.

Involved in an array of major business projects over the years (from Ontario’s pivotal investment in the Alberta oil sands to development of the giant Voisey Bay nickel deposit in Labrador), he also has served with a succession of public agencies and commissions, all while cultivating a close relationship, both professional and personal, with Japan and its people.

However, his current passion is the Canadian Narrative Project, a bid to gather evidence of (and perspectives on) what he calls Canada’s “magical” habit of using conciliation -- or mutual accommodation -- to solve its problems, rather than coercion or worse.

Found on two web sites (www.wamacdonald.com and  www.canadiandifference.ca), the project launched last year as a co-operative venture involving Mr. Macdonald, colleague William R.K. Innes, also a  former director of Imperial Oil, and Trent University.

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