J. Peter MeekisonChair, Department of Political Science (1972-74)
Vice President (Academic) (1984-91)
Officer of the Order of Canada
J. Peter Meekison was born in Vancouver, British Columbia on January 13, 1937, and received his early education in Vancouver Public Schools. He received his undergraduate education at the University of British Columbia, obtaining a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1959, and a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science in 1961. While attending the University of British Columbia, he served as President of the UBC Alma Mater Society in 1960 and 1961. He went on to earn an MA in political science from the University of Western Ontario in 1962, and a PhD in political science in 1965 from Duke University.
Dr Meekison joined the University of Alberta's Department of Political Science as Assistant Professor in 1967, was made Associate Professor in 1969, and Professor on July 1, 1973. He chaired the department from 1972-74, and served as a Visiting Professor at the University of British Columbia for the summer of 1973.
From 1971-72, he was Associate Dean in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research at the University of Alberta, and served as Vice-President (Academic) from 1984-91. Dr Meekison held the position of Belzberg Chair in Constitutional Law at the Faculty of Law from 1991-94.
On July 1, 1992 he was granted the rank of University Professor from the University of Alberta.
Peter Meekison took a ten-year leave of absence from the University of Alberta (1974-84) to devote his time to constitutional affairs with the Alberta Provincial Department of Federal and Inter-Governmental Affairs. He was Deputy Minister of the department from 1977-84, and had responsibility for maintaining and furthering the relationship between the province and the federal government.
During the 1978-81 constitutional negotiations, Dr Meekison developed and prepared the formula, tabled by Alberta, which ultimately became the amending formula in the Constitution Act, 1982. As constitutional adviser to the government, he was actively involved in the Meech Lake Accord (1987) discussions and the discussions leading to the 1992 Charlottetown Accord.
In 1993, Peter Meekison was appointed a Commissioner of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (established in 1992). He served with the Commission until its completed five-volume report was published in 1996.
Dr Meekison retired as University Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Alberta in June, 1996. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and is a recipient of the 125th Anniversary of Canada Medal and the Lieutenant Governor's Medal for Excellence in Public Administration for the Province of Alberta.
Dr Meekison served as the public administrator for Okanagan University College overseeing its transformation to the UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College. A plan to create and name a student centre at UBC Okanagan in Dr Meekison's honour was announced in November, 2005. This gift recognizes Peter Meekison's many contributions to student life at UBC.
Peter Meekison is currently an adjunct professor of political science at the University of Victoria.