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It is with great sadness that the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada (RSIC) shares with its friends, partners, and stakeholders the news that Ontario has lost a champion of justice and safety with the passing of Roy McMurtry, OC, OOnt, KC. Mr. McMurtry’s remarkable career spanned decades, leaving an indelible mark on the legal and political landscape of the province of Ontario and Canada.

Before entering politics, Mr. McMurtry established himself as a distinguished lawyer, earning the designation of Queen’s Counsel (KC). This legal expertise would become a cornerstone of his public service.

In 1975, Mr. McMurtry’s political journey began when he was elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, serving in the cabinet of Bill Davis as Attorney General and as Solicitor General, a position he held with distinction from 1975 to 1985. During this period, Mr. McMurtry, along with the former Prime Minster Jean Chretien, then Minister of Attorney General of Canada and Roy Romano, Attorney General of Saskatchewan played a historic role in negotiating the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and patriation of Canada’s constitution.

He served as Canada’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom from 1985 to 1988, strengthening ties between the two nations. In 1996, his legal expertise was further recognized when he was appointed Chief Justice of Ontario.

Mr. McMurtry’s dedication to public service extended far beyond the political and legal arena. He recognized the vital importance of safety in Canada and for many years lent his expertise and leadership to the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada. His commitment to the Institute, serving on the Board of Directors and later on the Advisory Council, was genuinely appreciated by his fellow Directors, the Institute staff, and the Institute’s diverse stakeholders. His dedication to making Canada a leader in workplace safety and his passion for improving the lives of workers across the country and all Canadians will be missed deeply.

The Chair Emeritus of the Institute’s Board, Tim Armstrong, QC, OOnt, wrote a beautiful tribute to Roy, his lifelong friend and colleague. You may read it here:

A tireless advocate for justice in all its forms, Roy McMurtry was a man of exceptional talent and unwavering integrity. His life serves as an inspiration to all who value justice, equality, freedom, safety, and public service. We offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

RSIC Board of Directors, Advisory Council and Staff