Scott Wallace Bursary

August 9, 1929 – October 15, 2011

Dr. Scott Wallace, former leader of the B.C. Conservative Party, has died at age 82.

Wallace, a retired physician, fought a long battle with pulmonary fibrosis and spent his last hours with two of his daughters by his side.  The always vocal politician was known for speaking out on many issues during his political career, a run that stretched from Oak Bay council in 1967 to his last day in the provincial legislature in 1977.

That enthusiasm for improving health care and people's lives was an extension of the efforts he put forward in his community, said family members who shared stories about their father's philanthropic passion.

His oldest daughter, Anne, became a provincial court judge and the two of them discussed the right-to-die philosophy regularly over the years.  "He was very adamant that people should have the ability to have some say in how their end of life should come about," said Anne. "I'm sure that came from seeing so many patients who struggled at the end with no hope of recovery. He wanted to make it as dignified and painless as possible."

Wallace had a reputation for being a fiery politician, particularly when arguing for improvements to health care.  After joining Oak Bay council in 1967, he became MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head in 1969 on the Social Credit ticket. In 1972, he ran again under the Progressive Conservative banner and again in 1975.

Between 1973 and 1977, Wallace was leader of the BC Conservatives, but lost in the 1978 election.

His daughters remember him as a man who spoke from the heart, rather than someone who couched his speeches in public relations polish. Political pundits at the time echoed those comments.

Wallace was married to his wife Kathleen for 51 years. She was his biggest supporter and always had sound advice to give, Anne said.  Kathleen died in 2005.

Wallace was born in Leven, Fife, Scotland and attended Edinburgh University Medical School. He was the youngest of five children. He and Kathleen moved to Canada in 1957. They lived in New Liskeard in northern Ontario between 1957 and 1961 before Wallace moved his family and his practice to Victoria.

This bursary in Dr. Scott Wallace’s name was established in 1978 to honour his many years as leader of the BC Conservatives.

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