Manitoba Historical Society
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Emerson James “Jim” Arnett

Lawyer, businessman.

Born at Winnipeg in 1938, son of Emerson Lloyd Arnett and Elsie Audrey Rhind (1911-2009), grandson of Frederick Rhind, he was educated at Chapman School, Queen Elizabeth School, and Norwood Collegiate before graduating from Kelvin High School in 1955. He attended the University of Manitoba where he was Senior Stick of Arts and received a BA degree (1959). He was a member of the successful McGowan Cup debate team with James E. Foran in 1962. He articled at law with Brian Dickson and received a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Manitoba in 1963. After receiving a Master of Laws degree from Harvard University, he practiced law briefly with the Department of Justice in Ottawa and with Pitblado & Hoskin. He moved to Toronto and practiced corporate law as a senior partner at Stikeman Elliott for many years, being made a Queen’s Counsel in 1979. He subsequently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Molson Companies Limited, Chairman of Beaver Lumber Company, Chairman of Montreal Canadiens Hockey Club, and Chair of the Ontario utility, Hydro One Inc. He was a special adviser to the Canadian Government on drafting the Investment Canada Act in 1985 and to the Premier of Ontario on the steel, electricity and automotive industries. He served on several business and non-profit boards of directors including as Chair of the Winnipeg-based Canada’s National History Society. In 1964, he married Edith Alexandra “Alix” Palk, daughter of William L. Palk, and they had four children, Shanly, Tannis, Will and Charles.

Page revised: 26 May 2020

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