60-Year-Old Michael Ferguson, Canada’s Auditor General Died

Michael Ferguson

In a statement from Mr. Michael Ferguson’s Office, “quote,” it is with deep sadness that staff of the Office of the Auditor General of Canada was informed today that Auditor General Michael Ferguson has passed away.

Mr. Ferguson had been undergoing treatment for cancer since last November. Unfortunately, the treatment was unsuccessful. He passed away surrounded by his family in Ottawa.

Michael Ferguson

Much appreciated by his staff and respected by parliamentarians and government officials alike, Mr. Ferguson will be remembered by all those who had the pleasure of knowing him as a humble, compassionate and thoughtful man. He cared deeply about conducting audits that brought value to the public service, always for the greater good of Canadians.

During his cancer treatment, Mr. Ferguson was still very much involved in the management of the office. According to his spokesman, Francoise Guyot, the office’s director of external communications, “this is actually quite sudden,” he said.

Canada’s opposition parties initially refused to endorse Michael Ferguson, Canada’s Auditor General because he did not speak French, but he since managed to learn the language and gained widespread respect for his solid reports about government spending, according to CTVnews.

Mr. Ferguson was appointed Auditor General of Canada on 28 November 2011. A dedicated public servant, he previously held a variety of roles in the Government of New Brunswick, including five years as Comptroller and five years as Auditor General of New Brunswick. In his last assignment at the provincial level, he served for one year as Deputy Minister of Finance and Secretary to the Board of Management, until his move to Ottawa to take on the role of federal Auditor General.

Our thoughts and condolences go out to Mr. Ferguson’s wife and sons at this challenging time, the statement from his office stated.

Before holding the Federal post, Mr. Ferguson served a variety of roles in the New Brunswick government, including five years as the province’s auditor general.

University professor, Craig Scott, who serves on a panel of advisers to the auditor general, said he was notified by the auditor general’s office about over a month ago that Ferguson’s cancer had returned in recent weeks.

The late Michael Ferguson, Canada’s Auditor General, graduated from the University of New Brunswick in 1980 with a bachelor of business administration and went on to earn his chartered accountant designation in 1984.

He often strayed from the protocol of former auditor generals when he presented his reports, expressing frustration with the federal government’s continued fixation with the process at the expense of getting results.

The statement from Ferguson’s office said he was “much appreciated by his staff and respected by parliamentarians and government officials alike.

“He cared deeply about conducting audits that brought value to the public service, always for the greater good of Canadians,” the statement read.

Auditor General Michael Ferguson waits to testify before the House of Commons public accounts committee on his spring audit of the government's employment

credit: SEAN KILPATRICK / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Auditor General Michael Ferguson waits to testify before the House of Commons public accounts committee on his spring audit of the government’s employment