Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Bruce Phipps McDonald (1918-2005)

Lawyer, judge.

Born at Portage la Prairie, Manitoba on 5 November 1918, son of William Wallace McDonald and Annie Mae Phipps, he attended school in Portage and high school in Winnipeg. In 1941, he received a law degree from the Manitoba Law School. He practiced briefly in the law firm of McMurray and Company then he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1943 and served as a flight instructor and navigator at Comox, British Columbia. He then worked for five years at Heap, Arsenych and Murchison in Winnipeg, followed by about ten years on his own. He then returned to Portage la Prairie and worked at Miller and Miller.

In January 1962, he was appointed a Provincial Court Judge, holding court at Treherne, Gladstone, Portage la Prairie, Morden, and other towns. He resigned in December 1993, prior to a judicial council hearing into his conduct. He had been suspended with pay in May 1993 following a series of newspaper articles alleging that attorneys, court officials, and police had been complaining about his behaviour for 30 years.

He died at Winnipeg on 10 May 2005 and was buried in Portage Hillside Cemetery.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 11 May 2005, page 24.

“Controversial ex-judge dies at 86”, Winnipeg Free Press, 13 May 2005, page 6.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 22 April 2012

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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