For immediate release


St. John's'  David Vardy receives Gold Medal Award


St. John's, July 5, 2000  - Premier Brian Tobin and Steve Hindle, President of The Professional Institute, honoured today the province's successful candidate for the Institute's 2000 Gold Medal Award,  Mr. David Allan Vardy. Mr. Vardy is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities for Newfoundland and Labrador. The award recognizes Mr. Vardy's significant contributions to economic development, resource management, labour relations, and education.


Premier Tobin stated, " This award is a fine example of excellence of this province's public service that will be showcased throughout Canada."


In making the presentation, Steve Hindle said:  "I am honoured to present the Gold Medal to an outstanding public service professional who has greatly contributed to the quality of life of Canadians.  He is a shining example that without the public service, Canada could not be one of the best countries in which to live."


Mr. Vardy's career within the public service spans three decades and during this time he has distinguished himself in a number of responsible positions.


Under his leadership, the Institute of Fisheries and Marine Technology became an international centre of excellence, known for education and applied research in the ocean industry sector, including the new and expanding offshore petroleum industry.  His legacy includes the Canadian Centre for Marine Communications, a world-class Shiphandling Simulator and Offshore Survival Centre; the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation; the Canadian Centre for International Fisheries Training and Development, and the Seafood Management Education Association.


As Chair of the Task Force on Price Settlement Mechanisms in the Fishing Industry, Mr. Vardy championed a revolutionary new collective bargaining process between fish harvesters and fish buyers, significantly improving the industry's reputation in the international marketplace.


As Deputy Minister of Fisheries, Mr. Vardy addressed the largest resource crisis in Canadian history - the crisis facing the Atlantic fishery - involving moratoria on all major groundfish stocks, including cod.  He negotiated federal-provincial adjustment programs to respond to the social and economic impact of major quota reductions.  He directed a major review of foreign overfishing and managed a plan to bring it to an end. He consolidated provincial agencies to create a new resource management capability.


This year, 23 nominations were received from across Canada and examined by an independent selection panel composed of Peter MacKinnon, President of the University of Saskatchewan; Judith Maxwell, President of Canadian Policy Research Networks, and Raymond McFeetors, President of the Great-West Life Assurance Company.


The Professional Institute established the Gold Medal Award program in 1937 to recognize professional public service employees whose outstanding work has led to the improvement and enhancement of public well-being and to promote greater awareness of the role and value of professional public service employees in Canada and globally. 


The annual Gold Medal Award is given in even-numbered years for achievement in a field other than pure or applied science, and in odd-numbered years for achievement in pure or applied science.  The award is a 14-carat gold medal engraved with the Institute's logo, along with a framed certificate acknowledging the achievement.


To be eligible for the prestigious award, nominees must be, or have been, employees of federal, provincial, territorial, municipal, regional or aboriginal government services.  To qualify for the award, the candidate's work must have been performed during his/her tenure in the public service.


The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada is the largest multi-professional  union in Canada, representing 36,000 professionals and scientists.



For further information: Craig Ennis, Media Relations, Premier's Office

(709) 729-0084


Laureen Allan, Media Relations

(613) 299-4368 (cellular)