Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: David McNichol Sanders (1947-2016)

Civil servant, lawyer, community activist.

Born at Winnipeg in 1947, son of Howard Russell Sanders and Nellie McNichol, he was educated at Grosvenor School, Ridley College (St. Catharines, Ontario), and the University of Manitoba. While at the latter, he served as Editor of the student newspaper, The Manitoban, and was President of the University of Manitoba Students’ Union (1966). He worked as a journalist at the Winnipeg Tribune (1965-1968) then spent 18 years as a provincial civil servant in the Department of Health, where he helped to implement medicare, and the Department of Urban Affairs, eventually serving as Deputy Minister under Premiers Schreyer, Pawley, and Lyon. As an Assistant Deputy Minister in a Progressive Conservative government, he ran as a New Democrat in the 1981 general election. He chaired the provincial interdepartmental planning board and the committee that developed the first Core Area Agreement under which funds were secured to buy The Forks. He co-chaired the Canada-Manitoba Agreement on Recreation and Conservation on the Red River Corridor. Later called to the Manitoba Bar, he offered free legal services to various community groups. He taught courses in city planning, political studies, public administration, and natural resource management at the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba. In 2014, he ran for Mayor of Winnipeg, finishing fifth in a group of seven candidates. He was later appointed Chair of the Manitoba Taxicab Board. He died of cancer at Winnipeg on 12 June 2016.


“High praise for city’s vigilant watchdog,” Winnipeg Free Press, 14 June 2016, page A5.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 16 June 2016.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 30 September 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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