Eric Kierans was a Canadian economist, politician, and businessman. After graduating from Loyola College and McGill University, he was director of McGill’s School of Commerce from 1953-1960, president of the Montreal Stock Exchange from 1960-1963, and minister and postmaster general of Canada from 1968-1971. In addition to serving in Pierre Eliot Trudeau’s first cabinet, he was Minister of Revenue (1963-1965) and Minister of Health (1965-1966) in Jean Lesage’s government. He was a prominent critic of Pierre Trudeau’s economic policies and ran against him in the national Liberal leadership race of 1968. After leaving politics in the 1970s, Kierans taught economics first at McGill University, then at Dalhousie University. Through this period, he also held visiting positions at UBC, Memorial University, and the Institute for Research on Public Policy. In the mid-1990s, he was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Keith Davey was a Canadian politician and a Liberal “rainmaker.” His political organizing earned him national prominence in the 1960s, when he helped bring the Liberal party back into government. After being appointed National Campaign Director in 1961, he directed the campaigns in 1962, 1963, and 1965, and played an important role in campaigns for the next two decades. In 1969, he spearheaded a commission into the state of newspapers, focusing especially on the concentration of media ownership. Davey also served as a commissioner of the Canadian Football League in the late 1960s. He authored a book, Rainmaker (1986), which described his view of Canadian politics. In 1966, he was appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, while continuing to work as a Liberal strategist. His last high-profile campaign role was during John Turner’s 1984 campaign. He was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1999.

Kierans was the third lecturer in the 1976 Dunning Trust lecture series on the theme of “Canada Towards the Year 2000.” His lecture centered on the question of the corporation’s political, social, and economic role in Canada. He discussed the relationship between the corporation and the state, stressing that the corporation was a legal invention that Canadians did not yet fully understand. By its very nature, it was more interested in future growth and profit than conditions in the present and had no requirement for social responsibility. Kierans also discussed the concentration of wealth and power among a few corporations: of almost a quarter million corporations in Canada, fewer than 300 controlled the majority of the assets.

A poster advertising the series on “Canada Towards the Year 2000,” including Kierans and Davey’s event.