1971 Fredericton Encaenia

Ostry, Sylvia

Doctor of Laws (LL.D.)

Orator: Condon, Thomas J.

Image Caption
L to R: Sir Max Aitken, Sylvia Ostry
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Source: Joe Stone fonds-UA RG340, 1971 (#8892C)


to be Doctor of Laws

What can one say about a lady economist in these days of Women's Lib. If we have an extraordinary woman, as we do, and say too much, as we could, we leave ourselves open to the charge of exploitation. If we say too little, as it would be hard to do in view of her many accomplishments, we might be called insensitive to the role of women in modern society. It may be simpler to avoid words about Woman's Lib and concentrate instead on women's life, as Sylvia Ostry has.

Born in Winnipeg, Mrs. Ostry first considered medicine as a career, pursuing studies toward this at the University of Manitoba. But there are many things to explore and dissect in life and she went off to an honours degree in economics at McGill, stayed on for an M.A. and a Ph.D., and managed a Ph.D. from Cambridge University as well.

University teacher at McGill and the University of Montreal, Research Officer at Oxford, Director of Special Manpower Studies at the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, Mrs. Ostry has worked on defining and measuring unemployment, has studied the population, labour force, and wage structure of Canada, and has published over thirty articles on topics ranging from "Working Life Tables for Canadian Males" to, yes, The Female Worker in Canada. Since 1969 she has been Director of the Economic Council of Canada, a formidable assignment which she has taken easily in her stride even as she has so many other things.

Mrs. Ostry has combined scholarship, teaching, and administration in a life that includes two sons and a husband who has been no less energetic than herself in pursuing his career as broadcast executive, historian, and Assistant Under Secretary of State.

UNB is pleased to honour this economist for all seasons, this woman for our times.

From: Honoris Causa - UA Case 70, Box 1

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