The Hon. Walter McLean, former Member of Parliament from the Ontario riding of Waterloo, was honoured by the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians (CAFP) with the 2012 Distinguished Service Award on Monday, June 4, 2012 in Ottawa, in recognition of his years of parliamentary service, his contribution to and respect for the institution of Parliament and for his continued interest and activity in the promotion of education, human rights and parliamentary democracy in Canada and abroad. The Award was presented by the Speaker of the Senate of Canada and the Speaker of the House of Commons. Reverend McLean delivered a stirring speech about how former parliamentarians can continue to serve. An edited transcription of his speech is available here.
Walter McLean served Canada as a Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament for more than 14 years. During his parliamentary career, he was Secretary of State for Canada, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women and Minister of Immigration. Additionally, he was, as parliamentary delegate, a member of Canada’s Delegation to the United Nations. Early in his career, Walter was a co-founder of Canadian University Service Overseas (CUSO) and served in West Africa as CUSO’s Nigerian field director. A co-founder of the Canadian Centennial’s “Miles for Millions Walks” in 1967, he then designed and marketed the province-wide Centennial celebration in Manitoba in 1970 as Executive Director of the Manitoba Centennial Corporation.
Since leaving Parliament in 1993, Walter has distinguished himself in an exemplary manner. He has maintained his strong interest in development issues in Africa and, in this context, serves as Honourary Consul in Canada for Namibia. He has developed international programs for several companies, including an Asian joint venture partnership in the southwestern Ontario market. He has also organized two national citizenship programs. Walter continues to be “Minister in Association” with Knox Presbyterian Church, Waterloo where he was minister in the 1970s, and he has maintained his interest in education through advisory Board membership at Royal Roads University.
Walter McLean holds a B.A. from the University of British Columbia, a M. Div. from Knox College and University of Toronto. He holds Honourary Doctorates from Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Toronto and has received numerous other awards and recognitions.