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Citation for David G. McLean

David McLean has a gift. He can see opportunity where others might not. This gift has given him an innate ability to guide enterprises through profound organizational change. And it has helped him turn a family business into a multi-faceted success story.

A highly respected leader and outstanding entrepreneur, David McLean started the McLean Group in 1972. It was a small investment company focused on the real estate industry.  Today, thanks to David McLean’s extraordinary vision, enthusiasm and expertise, the McLean Group encompasses film production, communications and aviation as well.

David McLean is chair of Signal Systems Inc. and Blackcomb Aviation Inc., and he heads Canada’s largest film and television production facility. He is also chair of the Canadian National Railway Company where he is credited with playing a key role in its privatization. David McLean is founding chair of Westech Information Systems and it was his leadership and entrepreneurial skill that guided Westech through privatization from B.C. Hydro.

In 1999, David McLean was appointed to the Order of British Columbia and, in 2006, he was made a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors. In 2008, Royal Roads University welcomed him to its inaugural Fellows Council.

A man of great integrity and a true pioneer, David McLean is committed to numerous environmental and community causes. He supports, in particular, the preservation of Canada’s wetlands and is the only Canadian on the board of Wetlands America Trust - a $1.7 billion charitable trust for Ducks Unlimited in the United States. He and his family have a long history of volunteering and are dedicated supporters of the Vancouver General Hospital and the UBC Hospital.

For his commitment to sustainability, for his role as a respected leader, for his demonstrated expertise at conflict resolution, and for his track record as a successful entrepreneur, Mr. Chancellor, it is indeed an honour to present David McLean for the degree, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.