News & Visuals

Inspection Panel pays tribute to former chairman Jim MacNeill upon his death

​Former Inspection Panel Chairman Jim MacNeill died in Ottawa on March 5 after a brief battle with pneumonia. He was 87.

Mr. MacNeill, a Canadian national, was appointed to the Inspection Panel in 1997, and served as chairman from 1999 to 2001.

“We were saddened to hear of Mr. MacNeill’s death and truly appreciate his efforts to advance the work of The Inspection Panel in its early days,” said Panel Chairman Gonzalo Castro de la Mata. “He left behind a strong legacy.”

During his career, Mr. MacNeill was a policy advisor to international organizations, governments, and the industry on environment, energy, management, and sustainable development issues. He served as OECD’s director of environment, and prior to that he was a deputy minister in the government of Canada. Among many other distinguished memberships, he was chairman emeritus of the International Institute of Sustainable Development. He was secretary general of the World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission), and he was lead author of the Commission's acclaimed report, "Our Common Future."

Mr. MacNeill held a BA in science and mechanical engineering from Saskatchewan University, and a graduate diploma in economics and political science from the University of Stockholm. He was the author of many books and articles, and is the recipient of a number of national and international awards, including the Order of Canada.

He is survived by his wife Phyllis, two daughters and six grandchildren. Mr. MacNeill was predeceased by his son Ward.

Friends are invited to Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa on April 25 from 1 to 2 p.m. A “celebration of life” will begin at 2 p.m. that day, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family has suggested donations to a charity that supports Mr. MacNeill’s “mission to make our home, this earth, safer for those who are yet to come.”