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Frederick Anderson


ANDERSON, Frederick (Fred) Woodley  (1920-2009)
Educator, Economist

Fred W. Anderson was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on April 20, 1920 to Edward and Leila (Woodley) Anderson.  He received a Bachelor of Arts degree as well as a Master of Arts degree from the University of Saskatchewan and did post-graduate work at the London School of Economics.  In 1951 he joined the University of Saskatchewan, Regina College as a special lecturer in Economics and Political Science.  Anderson held several posts throughout his career including an appointment as associate Dean of Arts and Sciences (Social Sciences) from 1969-1975.  He was also co-ordinator of the Canadian Plains Study program from 1977 until his retirement in 1983.

From 1959 to 1961, he was the Secretary and Research Director to the (Canadian) Royal Commission on Transportation, under Murdoch MacPherson.  The MacPherson Commission report advocated increased freedom for railways to eliminate uneconomic passenger service and branch lines, called for increased subsidies for grain handling responsibilities which had been imposed by Parliament, and also included a critique of the Canadian air transport system.  Anderson’s focus within the report was a criticism of the lack of consistency and inclusiveness in Canadian air transport policy with regards to distant and scattered settlements, and as well as a criticism of the lack of a clear policy to address whether air services would be offered apart from market considerations.

In 1962 Anderson advised the Saskatchewan Farmers’ Union on a rational approach to follow in the abandonment of unprofitable branch rail-lines, based on the main tenets of the MacPherseon report.

Including the MacPherson Commission in the 1960’s, a number of other federally initiated commissions were established to investigate the grain handling situation, among them the Hall Commission on Grain Handling and Transportation (1975 to 1977); and the Snavely Commission on railway costing (1975 to 1977).  From 1973 to 1975, Anderson organized and launched the Western Transportation Advisory Council and later became the Chairman of the Prairie Rail Action Committee (1977 to 1978) which was created to establish the fate of rail lines left undecided in the Hall Commission on Grain Handling and Transportation.

In 1968 Anderson was invited, along with nine fellow experts from several countries, to be part of a committee established by the Asian Development Bank which would lay the foundations for transportation system development in South East Asia.

In 1980 Anderson was appointed by joint request of the Railway Association of Canada and eight shopcraft unions to a one-man commission which inquired into the level and structure of railway shopcraft employees’ compensation.

Written by Chelsea Scheske

Archival Collections (Finding Aids in PDF format)


75-10 - Personal Papers, 1951-1972

80-37 - Council Committee on Autonomy – 1968-71 and Joint Committee on Organization and Structure, 1972-73.  This is a university record and subject to review before access may be granted.

90-15 - Publications – Transportation, 1915-1996

92-56 - Transportation and Speeches, 1963-1984

93-53 - Prairie Task Force on Grain Handling, 1964-1985