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Former CWB Minister Reg Alcock Passes

Reg Alcock, the Winnipeg member of Parliament who led then-prime minister Paul Martin s political defence of the Canadian Wheat Board, died early last Friday of a reported heart attack at age 63.

Alcock, the MP for the Winnipeg South riding from 1993 to 2006, served in Martin s cabinet from late 2003 to early 2006 as the minister responsible for the CWB, and concurrently as president of the federal Treasury Board.

Interim federal Liberal Leader Bob Rae, posting Friday on Twitter, described Alcock as a great guy and good friend to many.

In addition to his outstanding work for our university, he dedicated much of his life to public service for this city, province and country, David Barnard, president of the University of Manitoba, Alcock s most recent employer, said in a release Friday.

Alcock, who earned a master s degree in public administration from Harvard University, served as director of Manitoba Child and Family Services from 1983 to 1985.

Provincial Liberal Leader Jon Gerrard said on his blog Friday that Alcock, during that time, played an important role in revamping the province s Child Welfare Act.

Alcock entered political life in 1988 at the Manitoba legislature as the Liberal MLA for the Osborne riding, serving until 1993 when he quit to run federally. Under then-prime minister Jean Chretien, he served as parliamentary secretary for intergovernmental affairs from 1998 to 2000.

According to Gerrard, serving as president of the federal Treasury Board was a dream job for Alcock, and one in which Alcock made a tremendous effort to improve the functioning of government, using his knowledge of government and of in-person as well as electronic communication.

Having narrowly lost his federal seat in 2006 to Rod Bruinooge of the Conservatives, Alcock joined the faculty of the University of Manitoba s I.H. Asper School of Business, where he served also as associate dean from 2008 to 2009.

Bruinooge, also on Twitter, offered sympathies to Alcock s family, calling Friday a sad day for Manitoba.

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