In Memoriam: CBERN Co-Founder and Project Director Dr. Wesley Cragg


Please note that details of the memorial service for Dr. Wesley Cragg can be found below. 

Dear CBERN friends and colleagues,

CBERN Project Director and Co-Founder Dr. Arthur Wesley (Wes) Cragg
January 18, 1941-August 26, 2017

It is with great sorrow that we share the news of Dr. Arthur Wesley (Wes) Cragg’s passing on Saturday, August 26, 2017. As the Project Director of the Canadian Business Ethics Research Network, Wes was a passionate and accomplished advocate for corporate ethics and social responsibility and he will continue to be internationally renowned as one of the world’s leading authorities and experts in the field of business ethics.

Wes co-founded CBERN in 2007 with the goal of promoting collaborative business ethics initiatives and research across academia, government, NGOs, and industry, shortly after his appointment as a Senior Scholar and Professor Emeritus at the Schulich School of Business. He also enjoyed a long and fruitful academic career prior to this, serving as the first George R. Gardiner Professor of Business Ethics at Schulich from 1992 to 2006, with a cross-appointment to the Department of Philosophy at York University.

A pioneer in his own right, Wes’ passion for education and advocacy put business ethics on the map as a core part of the Schulich MBA curriculum. For decades, he encouraged the public and private sectors to integrate responsible business conduct into the heart of their operations, and his efforts have undoubtedly contributed to the ascent of the global corporate social responsibility movement. Among the many positions that he held during his distinguished career, Wes was the founding Chair and President of Transparency International’s Canadian chapter in 1996. He was also a former President of the Canadian Philosophical Society and the John Howard Society of Canada.

Wes’ scholarly work has covered a variety of interdisciplinary topics, including corporate governance, corporate codes of ethics, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, environmental ethics, business and human rights, ethical investment, the ethics of extractive industries, and economic development affecting First Nations communities. A long-time advocate for indigenous rights in Canada and abroad, his research was designed to advance and improve upon issues concerning informed consent and knowledge sharing, particularly within marginalized societies affected by mining. As the Project Director for CBERN, he worked closely for 10 years with the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach in northern Quebec to understand and develop tools to mitigate the impacts of resource extraction on their traditional lands, striving to ensure that they benefited from development activities while also working to help preserve their history, language and culture.

Wes passed away in the care of his beloved wife Mary, his children, and his grandchildren at his home in Aurora, Ontario. His contributions to ethics research and literature undoubtedly set the stage for great progress and advancement in corporate ethics, equity, transparency and social responsibility. His legacy continues, but he will be sorely missed as the committed leader, teacher and mentor of those who knew him.

On behalf of CBERN,

Dr. Ian Greene, Acting Director, CBERN; Professor Emeritus, School of Public Policy and Administration
Otto Faludi, Communications and Online Program Coordinator
Lauren Turner, Research and Outreach Coordinator

Memorial Service

Saturday, September 09, 2017 | 10:30 am
Trinity Anglican Church
79 Victoria Street, Aurora, Ontario

Full details and guest book

Memorial Donations

The Wesley Cragg Scholarship in Ethics Research
The John Howard Society of Canada

A celebration of Wes’ life will be held at McLaughlin College, York University in October, with details to be announced in the coming days.


About Author

Otto Faludi is the Communications and Online Program Coordinator at the Canadian Business Ethics Research Network. He publishes blogs on a wide range of topics including business and human rights; the ethics of resource extraction; governance, law, and public policy; and transnational crime and corruption. Otto is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the digital international affairs journal Freedom Observatory. He holds an Honours B.A. in Political Science and a Master of Public and International Affairs (M.P.I.A.) from York University’s bilingual Glendon College. He is fluent in English and Hungarian, proficient in French, and has a working knowledge of German and Spanish.

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