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This article was published 24/1/2017 (1825 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
OTTAWA — Longtime Manitoba civil servant Jim Eldridge was honoured with the top national prize for public administration at a ceremony in Ottawa Monday.
Gov. Gen. David Johnston presented the Vanier Medal to Eldridge at Rideau Hall.
"Service, integrity, leadership all in the public interest, that’s what the Vanier Medal is all about," Johnston said. "These are the qualities that define Jim’s 49-year career in Manitoba’s public service. It’s a remarkable achievement."
Eldridge, 72, retired in December after nearly 49 years working for the Manitoba government, including as clerk of the executive council and deputy minister of intergovernmental affairs. He was a key adviser to most of the province’s premiers over the last 50 years, played a key role in setting up the province’s intergovernmental relations branch, and has been recognized across the country for his strategic advice on federal-provincial and interprovincial relationships.
Former premier Greg Selinger nominated Eldridge for the prize, which began in 1962 and is given to just one person each year.
"It’s very rare to find somebody with five decades of service under eight premiers and can weave it all together and make a positive contribution under all those different governments," Selinger said following the ceremony. "It deserved recognition."
Eldridge was clearly touched by the award.
"For people in public service this is the top of the mountain," he said. "I’m savouring every moment."
— Mia Rabson