DODGE, David

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Éloge

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François Houle, Doyen de la Faculté des sciences sociales

Chancellor:

I’m sure that, like me, you’ve heard the old saying about academics: we may be great theorists, but we’re not so strong on the practical side. In other words, we’re thinkers, not “doers”.

Whether or not that’s true is a subject for debate. And David Allison Dodge – the person we are honouring today – would certainly have something interesting to say on this question. He has a foot in both worlds: he is both an academic and a man of action. He has successfully bridged the divide between “thinking” and “doing”, and all Canadians are better off because of it.

Après un doctorat en économie à la Princeton University, David Dodge devient professeur à la Queen’s University. Il accepte peu après une nomination de courte durée au gouvernement fédéral.

L’affectation est censée durer deux ans, mais monsieur Dodge se rend vite compte que son travail lui procure de grandes satisfactions.

Il choisit donc de rester à la fonction publique, tout en se replongeant dans le monde universitaire pendant de brèves périodes, entre autres comme professeur aux universités Johns Hopkins, UBC et Simon Fraser.

In the early years, his work exposed him to some of the central issues in the everyday lives of Canadians, as he worked at the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Anti-Inflation Board, and the Department of Employment and Immigration.

In these positions, he disproved one theory of getting ahead in a large organization: it’s always better to keep your head down, agree with your managers and not make waves.

Dr. Dodge always gave his candid opinion, even when the option he was proposing was not politically appealing. Despite this, his excellent work was always recognized, and he made his way steadily up the ladder.

En 1984, il est nommé sous-ministre adjoint de la Politique budgétaire au ministère fédéral des Finances et joue un rôle de premier plan dans l’établissement du budget annuel.

Il passe ensuite au secteur de la Politique fiscale, où il est chargé de piloter le projet de loi touchant la taxe sur les produits et services. Monsieur Dodge et d’autres spécialistes sont convaincus que la TPS remplacera avantageusement la taxe sur les ventes des fabricants, une taxe archaïque mal adaptée aux besoins de l’économie canadienne.

Malgré l’impopularité de la mesure proposée, monsieur Dodge tient bon et persuade le gouvernement d’aller de l’avant.

The government stood its ground, and all these years later we can see from the strength of our economy that Dr. Dodge was correct.

After his time at Tax Policy, David Dodge became Canada’s ambassador to the G-7 Summit, before being appointed Deputy Minister of Finance in 1992. It was in this capacity that he worked with the new Finance Minister, Paul Martin, and played a pivotal role in eliminating Canada’s deficit.

Some of you may not remember this, but in 1995 – just 12 years ago – the Wall Street Journal suggested that Canada might soon be bankrupt. This was primarily because the federal government was running an annual deficit that had climbed to 42 billion dollars and showed no signs of being able to reverse the situation.

Le budget de 1995, dont monsieur Dodge est le principal architecte, constitue un point tournant dans l’histoire du pays. On met en place des politiques qui assureront que les finances publiques du Canada soient remises à flot. Elles continuent à bien se porter depuis.

Après des années cruciales comme sous-ministre des Finances, monsieur Dodge est nommé sous-ministre de la Santé.

Devenu gouverneur de la Banque du Canada en 2001, il est encensé de toutes parts pour la franchise et la lucidité dont il fait preuve dans ses nouvelles fonctions. Sous sa gouverne, l'économie canadienne maintient sa vigueur, malgré les ralentissements et les bouleversements qui menacent sans cesse la stabilité de l'économie mondiale.

David Allison Dodge is no doubt unique among Canadians in that, as he once mentioned in a commencement speech, he has been directly responsible for our country’s tax policy, our fiscal policy, our health policy and now our monetary policy.

In other words, his decisions have had a direct impact on all of our lives. Fortunately, he has made wise decisions!    

Chancellor, it is for these reasons that, in the name of the Senate of the University of Ottawa, I present to you, for the degree of Doctor of the University, David Allison Dodge, who has clearly demonstrated that when you combine great intellect, clear vision and decisiveness, you can accomplish great things.

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