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"TUP" 2003 Obituary


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TUPPER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-01-10 published
Civil servant moonlighted as a master of municipal politics
From global matters to local logjams, he excelled at finding common ground
By Randy RAY Special to The Globe and Mail Friday, January 10, 2003, Page R11
David BARTLETT wasn't comfortable in front of a stove, and couldn't carry a tune or run a hockey practice. But he excelled at most other pursuits, whether he was drafting memos to cabinet ministers, mediating disputes between neighbours at township council, or square dancing at a local community centre.
Of local politics, he once told his wife, Betty, "I can't coach sports teams, bake cakes or sing in a choir, but I can do this."
Mr. BARTLETT, a career civil servant in the federal government and also a long-serving municipal politician, died of cancer at his home in Manotick, Ontario, on November 8, aged 76.
During a career that began in Ottawa in 1948, the Toronto native was secretary-general at the Canadian Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which advises the government on its relations with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and coordinates its activities in Canada.
He was also secretary of the Canada Council for the Arts, the arm's-length funding agency, and was acting commercial secretary in the office of the High Commissioner for Canada in Pakistan.
He was active in municipal politics for two decades, including eights years as a member of the board of trustees of the Police Village of Manotick, and six years as mayor of Rideau Township, both south of Ottawa. During and after his mayoralty, Mr. BARTLETT was easy to locate in the community: His licence plates read "RIDEAU."
"One of the most striking things about David was that he could turn his hand to almost anything and do it well," said close friend Douglas SMALL.
Friends, family and colleagues said another of Mr. BARTLETT's strong suits was an ability to understand complicated issues and then come up with solutions satisfactory to all sides.
Bill TUPPER, a former Ottawa-area Member of Parliament and also a past mayor of Rideau Township, remembers how Mr. BARTLETT once settled a dispute between two farm families over drainage.
"The issue was who would keep the drain clear. Both parties were almost foaming with venom but David, who was mayor at the time, listened to both sides and said, 'I think I see a solution and with a little luck, it might work.' He told them his plan and the farmers looked at one another and asked, 'Is it that simple?'
"They shook hands on the way out of the meeting."
Mr. BARTLETT graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in political science and economics. He worked with the federal Civil Service Commission for two years before winning a scholarship at the London School of Economics, where he earned a master's degree. He married Betty PEARCE in 1950.
Prior to working with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Canada Council, he was chief of the Technical Co-operation Service, Colombo Plan Administration, in Canada, precursor to the Canadian International Development Agency; and he was executive officer to the federal deputy minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources. He retired in 1986 after seven years as assistant director and secretary at the Canada Council, but continued to do contract work.
His government jobs were administrative in nature, says Mrs. BARTLETT, "but not in a routine sense. He had a variety of interesting projects," including the task of helping Governor-General Georges VANIER and his wife, Pauline, tour northern Canada.
In the early 1990s, he conceived a plan to rescue the World University Service of Canada from receivership. At the time, he was interim executive director of the organization, which is a network of individuals and institutions that foster human development and global understanding through education and training. From 1991 to 1998, he sat on World University Service of Canada's board of directors.
Mr. BARTLETT entered municipal politics in 1965 while still working for the government, which meant he often came home from work after 6 p.m., grabbed a bite to eat, and was off to a meeting that could last until after midnight. He bowed out of politics in 1985 after losing an election.
"His motivation was that he loved the work," said Mrs. BARTLETT. "He never fretted about things, there was never any tossing and turning at night. He had this talent for dealing with all things in a balanced way and coming up with a fair solution."
Mr. BARTLETT also contributed his time to a local Scout troop, and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and wrote columns for a local newspaper. After retiring, he was appointed to a number of task forces that studied taxi services at Pearson International Airport in Toronto, the ward boundaries in Ottawa and the workings of regional governments.
In retirement, he and his wife spent part of each year on Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick. Mr. BARTLETT leaves his wife, Betty, and sons Michael and Peter.

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