Reginald B. Alcock, PC (April 16, 1948 – October 14, 2011)

Reg Alcock will be missed. Some of us from our community kept in touch during his various roles at the University of Manitoba.

I have met a number of federal politicians over the years, and he was the most welcoming of them all. Whether meeting at his parliamentary office, in the parliamentary restaurant, or outside of the parliamentary precinct he always listened to what was being said and captured and repeated-back (so you knew he got it) the key points of what you were trying to express.

He always demonstrated a genuine interest in making politics better, and was not so partisan as to suggest it was only people in his caucus that had good ideas.

In the 1990's I was in a time when I didn't respect politicians much, and thought the vast majority were corrupt. Mr. Alcock was one of the key people who convinced me otherwise, and made me willing to spend so much time trying to meet people from every political stripe in the federal parliament.

The following is something I wrote in 2004:

I have had the opportunity to meet with Reg Alcock a number of times in recent years. I first met Mr. Alcock to discuss Open Source in October 2002, having been told that he was the most Open Source aware member of parliament.

In May 2003 Mr Alcock helped GOSLING (Getting Open Source Logic INto Governments) celebrate our 1-year anniversary. Brian Behledorf, Co-Founder of Apache.org, was in town and Joseph Potvin (co-coordinator of GOSLING), Brian, Mr Alcock and I had a lunch meeting together in the parliamentary restaurant.

As president of the treasury board, Mr Alcock has been working to help ensure that these alternative methodologies are included in government operations. I have been pushing the envelope in trying to encourage him to talk to other members of government to ensure that they gain from his experience.