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Alan Gold

Ex-justice who negotiated Milgaard deal dies at 87
Retired Quebec judge Alan B. Gold known for his skills as a mediator

MONTREAL (CP) - Retired judge Alan B. Gold, known for his skills as a mediator in high-profile cases involving former prime minister Brian Mulroney and David Milgaard, has died. He was 87. In 1990, Gold also mediated between Mohawks and the Quebec government in the Oka crisis, helping bring the lengthy land claims standoff to an end.

Justice Alan B. GoldHe served as chief justice of Quebec Superior Court from 1983 until 1992 when he retired from the bench.

Gold joined the Montreal law firm of Davies, Ward, Phillips and Vineberg in 1993 where he was beloved and respected, senior partner Peter Mendell said Monday.

"We all called him, 'Judge'," Mendell said, adding that even former Quebec premier Lucien Bouchard, who works at the same firm, called Gold by his nickname.

Mendell added that Gold was instrumental in bringing Bouchard to the firm after the Parti Quebecois premier stepped down in 2001.

He said Gold, who died on Sunday, was a private man who wouldn't have wanted the nature of his illness disclosed.

Gold was a successful mediator because he had an attentive ear, Mendell said.

"He was able very well to marry his career as a lawyer and his career as a judge by being an incredibly good listener. He was very respectful of the views of others."

Gold represented the Saskatchewan government in the late 1990s in negotiations for a $10-million financial settlement for Milgaard, who spent 22 years in prison wrongly convicted of murder.

He also reviewed the out-of-court settlement reached in former Tory prime minister Brian Mulroney's lawsuit against the federal government. Mulroney was awarded $2 million for being wrongly accused of receiving millions of dollars in kickbacks in Air Canada's 1988 purchase of Airbus jets as well as from two other contracts.

Gold was a graduate of Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., and returned to his hometown to study law at the University of Montreal. He was called to the bar in 1942 but did Second World War service with the Royal Canadian Artillery for the next four years.

Gold was named as chief judge of provincial court, now renamed Quebec court, in 1970.

He first attracted national attention in 1968 when he was the chief arbitrator who headed off a longshoremen's strike at the Port of Montreal.

Five years later, he mediated a strike by 56,000 rail workers. He also helped settle two national postal strikes - in 1981 and 1991.

Gold's funeral was to be held in Montreal on Tuesday.

His death was noted by Quebec Superior Court Justice John Gomery, presiding over the sponsorship inquiry.

Gomery announced he will take an extra long lunch break Tuesday so he can attend the funeral.

"I heard some sad news at the break," Gomery said.

"Apparently somebody for whom I have great esteem has passed on, the Hon. Alan B. Gold. The funeral will be tomorrow at 11:30 and personally I must attend that funeral. He was my chief justice for many years, and a friend."

Mendell also said Gold was known for his love of the arts, especially classical music.

Gold is survived by his wife Lynn, and three children.


Oka crisis negotiator and top jurist Gold dies

MONTREAL - Retired judge Alan B. Gold, who helped steer the country out of several crises including the Oka standoff and two national postal strikes, has died.

Gold, who passed away on Sunday at age 87, also represented the Government of Saskatchewan in negotiations to reach a settlement with David Milgaard for wrongful conviction.

He served as chief justice of Quebec's Superior Court from 1983 until 1992, when he retired from the bench.

Justice John Gomery, who is currently presiding over the federal sponsorship inquiry, expressed sadness at word of Gold's death, calling him a friend whom he held in great esteem.

Gold is credited with having helped make the legal system more accessible, rapid, efficient and equitable.

He first attracted national attention in 1968 when he was the chief arbitrator who headed off a longshoremen's strike at the Port of Montreal.

Five years later, he mediated a strike by 56,000 rail workers and helped settle two national postal strikes, in 1981 and 1991.

He was chief arbitrator between the Government of Quebec and its public employees for 17 years and served as mediator and arbitrator in disputes concerning the ports, railways, airlines, Royal Mint, foreign service and many businesses.

In 1990, Gold mediated between Mohawks and the Quebec government in the Oka crisis.

He also represented the Saskatchewan government in the late 1990s in negotiations for a financial settlement for David Milgaard, who spent 22 years in prison wrongly convicted of murder.

In 1995, Gold became a member of the Order of Canada.

Right into his last years, Gold managed a full work schedule.

The $600,000 Alan B. Gold scholarship fund, for the faculty of law at the University of Montreal, is described as a tribute to the brilliant career of a remarkable man.