Reisman, Sol Simon

Sol Simon Reisman, public servant (born 19 June 1919 in Montréal; died 9 March 2008). Reisman was educated at McGill U and London School of Economics. He joined the Canadian Dept of Labour in 1946 and shortly thereafter moved to the finance dept, then the nerve centre of the federal government. Reisman specialized in trade policy as a member of Canada's delegation to the first GATT talks and as an assistant director of research for the Royal Commission on CANADA'S ECONOMIC PROSPECTS (Gordon Commission).

He was promoted to the new post of deputy minister of industry in 1965; he subsequently served as secretary of the Treasury Board (1968-70) and deputy minister of finance (1970-74). He was Canada's principal negotiator for the Autopact of 1965 (see CANADA-US AUTOMOTIVE PRODUCTS AGREEMENT), a role for which his forceful personality and ingenious disposition was ideal.

After a spell as an Ottawa lobbyist, he was chosen by the Mulroney government to head Canada's negotiating team in the FREE TRADE negotiations with the US in 1985. After 16 months of often fractious negotiation, an agreement was finally signed by PM Mulroney and Pres Reagan in 1988. Reisman returned to private business after the completion of the FTA negotiations. He was admitted to the Order of Canada in 1978 as an Officer.