Born in Regina on May 19, 1925, Tansley served overseas with the Regina Rifle Regiment. He joined the provincial government’s Budget Bureau in 1950 after graduating in arts and commerce from the University of Saskatchewan. He worked in the Treasury until 1960, and was then appointed executive director of the Government Finance Office. Two years later, he became Chair of the Saskatchewan Medical Care Insurance Commission, the body charged with implementing medicare. In 1964, Tansley was hired by Premier Louis Robichaud of New Brunswick to become his Deputy Minister of Finance and Industry and to advise on the modernization of his government. In 1968, he accepted the position of Vice-President of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in Ottawa. From 1973 to 1975 he studied the International Red Cross, producing a far-sighted and prescient report on its future role in the world. Tansley was later appointed Administrator of the Anti-Inflation Act and Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Tansley was notable for his great organizational skills and his ability to work in highly difficult circumstances. In 1999, he received the Order of Canada as well as the Henry Dunant Medal, the highest award conferred by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent. He was also made a Companion of the Order of the Canadian Red Cross. In 2005, Tansley published Growing Up and Going to War, in which he chronicled his service as a young soldier with the Regina Rifles. Donald Tansley passed away on July 19, 2007.
Gregory P. Marchildon