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P. Michael Pitfield

Incumbent
Assumed office 
December 22, 1982
Appointed by Pierre Trudeau

Born June 18, 1937 (1937-06-18) (age 72)
Montreal, Quebec
Political party Independent

Peter Michael Pitfield, PC, CVO (born June 18, 1937) is a Canadian Senator and former senior civil servant.

He is the son of the late Canadian financier Ward C. Pitfield and the late Grace MacDougall Pitfield. His brother, also Ward C. Pitfield, was Chairman of the family Investment Banking firm, Pitfield, MacKay and Ross, which later became Dominion Securities, Pitfield, now the Investment arm of the Royal Bank of Canada.

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Pitfield graduated from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York at the age of 16. His SLU degree, in science, was followed by a degree in law from McGill University. He went to Ottawa to join the civil service in 1959 where he worked as an administrative assistant to Justice Minister E. Davie Fulton.

He subsequently obtained a postgraduate degree in public law, and held various positions in the civil service. He became Clerk of the Privy Council of Canada and Secretary to the Cabinet under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau from 1975 to 1979, and again from 1980 to 1982. Because of his close association with Trudeau, he was replaced during the ministry of Joe Clark, but returned following the 1980 election that returned Trudeau to power.

As head of the public service, Pitfield played a senior role in the government's successful efforts to patriate the Canadian Constitution. In recognition of his service, he was appointed to the Canadian Senate at Trudeau's recommendation on December 22, 1982. Although he had been perceived to be close to the Liberal Party, he took his seat in the Senate as an Independent. He also served from the mid 1980s until 2002 as vice chairman of Power Corporation, and is now Director Emeritus of the company.

His two decades of service to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation were recognized by the establishment of the Michael Pitfield Chair in Cardiac Surgery at the Institute. In recent years, Pitfield has suffered from Parkinson's disease and has worked to raise awareness of the condition.

He is the father of three children and was predeceased by his wife Nancy in 1999.

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