N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as
the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may
be available at the University Archives.
Convocation date: November 4, 1967
Discipline / contribution: Canadian constitution ; public policy; history - labour history
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor, on behalf of the University Council and Senate, I present to you Eugene Forsey.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Eugene Forsey was born in Newfoundland in 1904, and educated at McGill and Oxford; there he studied politics, economics and philosophy, and was chosen as Rhodes Scholar from Quebec in 1926. He earned a doctorate at McGill University, and lectured there for twelve years; he is currently a visiting professor at Carleton University. In 1942 Dr. Forsey was appointed Director of Research for the Canadian Congress of Labour, a position he continued to hold when the Congress was reorganized as the Canadian Labour Congress; since 1966 he has been director of a special project which includes the writing of the history of the labour movement in Canada. Dr. Forsey has also been active politically; he was one of the founders of the CCF party, and has contested seats for the Ontario legislature and the House of Commons. He has held leading positions in the Canadian Political Science Association, has served as a member of the Board of Broadcast Governors, and as a director of projects as far apart as Mysore, India, and Memorial University, Newfoundland. He is a governor of Trent University, a member of the Ontario Advisory Committee on Confederation, and one of English Canada’s most articulate voices in the present dialogue on the nature of the Canadian nation.
Dr. Forsey is a leading authority on the Canadian constitution, and has contributed to both learned and popular journals a large number of distinguished articles. He is the author of two books, one of which, “The Royal Power of Dissolution of Parliament in the British Commonwealth”, is one of the most controversial books written by a Canadian, although it is proper to add that Dr. Forsey’s argument therein has now won general acceptance. Dr. Forsey’s scholarship is the more remarkable in that for a quarter of a century he has held a major position that occupies him otherwise. His influence on other scholars has been profound, and many can testify that it is not only inadvisable to publish a manuscript on any aspect of the constitution without first having it read by Dr. Forsey, but unsafe. Many scholars are deeply in Dr. Forsey’s debt in ways that can be acknowledged, but not always repaid; all know him as a meticulously careful scholar, abhorring untruth in all its forms.
Eminent Chancellor, I present to you Eugene Forsey, and ask that you will confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honouris causa.
Degree presented by: Norman Ward, professor of Political Science
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