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A Tribute to David Barber

 On Tuesday April 26, I spoke on a Member's Statement to pay tribute to David Barber, an amazing arctic scientist and a wonderful human being.  I had attended the Celebration of his Life on Saturday April 23rd.  

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, growing up in Dauphin and helping build the Fort Dauphin Museum, fishing at a cabin on Waterhen Lake and canoeing to Fort York and Churchill, David Barber developed a love of the Arctic and became one of the foremost Arctic scientists in the world. He had an ability to connect with people who were not scien­tists and an ability to write grants and to conceive big projects that was remarkable.

Several years into his Arctic research, he recog­nized an extraordinary decrease in the size of the permanent ice in the Arctic, and it was the result of global warming. He found that the Arctic was warm­ing faster than other parts of the planet. He was at the forefront of understanding the impact of climate change on the Arctic. He also organized and led Arctic expeditions to give us a broader understanding of life in the Arctic both above and below the ice.

      Educated initially in physical education at the University of Manitoba, after travelling to the Arctic, he switched careers and studied the Arctic and Arctic ice at the University of Waterloo. He later returned to Manitoba to champion changes at the university which led to bringing together a wide range of re­search­ers to study what was and is happening in the Arctic.

      Over the course of his career, he was responsible for bringing about $200 million in grants to the University of Manitoba–the largest amount brought by any researcher in the physical sciences.

      An extraordinary individual; not only a scientist, he was dedicated to his family and to ensuring each of his children had their own experiences on an Arctic expedition starting when they were nine years old. Lucette, Jeremy, Julien and Jamie were a vital part of his life, and they of his. It was a family part­ner­ship.

      I ask for a moment of silence to recognize this important Manitoban who brought so much to our province and to our world.

Madam Speaker: Is there a leave for a moment of silence? [Agreed]

      Please stand.

A moment of silence was observed.


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