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James McPhail Gillies, CM (2 November 1924 – 13 December 2015) was a politician and economist in Canada. He was a Progressive Conservative member of the House of Commons of Canada from 1972 to 1979 who was elected in the Toronto, Ontario riding of Don Valley. He taught economics at the Schulich School of Business at York University and was sought after for commentary on economic issues.

James Gillies
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Don Valley
In office
20 October 1972 – 21 May 1979
Preceded byBob Kaplan
Succeeded byRiding abolished
Personal details
James McPhail Gillies

(1924-11-02)2 November 1924
Teeswater, Ontario, Canada
Died 13 December 2015(2015-12-13) (aged 91)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Political partyProgressive Conservative
Elizabeth Louise Matson (m. 1953)
Professioneconomist, educator
Military service
Branch/serviceRoyal Canadian Air Force
Years of service1944–1945
RankFlight crew



Gillies attended public and secondary school in Teeswater, Ontario. He then went to London, Ontario to attend University of Western Ontario. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1944 during World War II. In 1945 he continued his education in the United States at Brown University and Indiana University at Bloomington.[1] He joined the faculty of University of California, Los Angeles's Graduate School of Management in 1951 and remained there until his return to Canada in 1965 where he was the initial dean of York University's Faculty of Administrative Studies, now named the Schulich School of Business.[2]

Gillies was chair of the Ontario Economic Council in 1971 and 1972.[1]


Gillies ran as a Progressive Conservative candidate in the 1972 federal election. He was elected in the riding of Don Valley defeating Liberal candidate Grant Ross by 6,962 votes.[3] He was re-elected in 1974 and left federal office after completing his term in the 30th Canadian Parliament.[4] In 1976, Gillies was a candidate for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, placing 9th out of 11 candidates and withdrawing after the first ballot. He was a senior policy advisor to Prime Minister Joe Clark in the brief PC government of 1979-80.[5]

Later lifeEdit

He was named a professor emeritus of the Schulich School of Business and continued to provide commentary on economic matters.[6] He died on 13 December 2015, aged 91.[7]


  • Gillies, James M. (1981). Where business fails. IRPP. ISBN 978-0-920380-53-6.


  1. ^ a b Normandin, Pierre G. (1973). Canadian Parliamentary Guide.
  2. ^ Gillies, James M. (1981). Where business fails. IRPP. p. Back cover. ISBN 978-0-920380-53-6.
  3. ^ "How the 1,117 candidates fared across Canada". The Toronto Star. 31 October 1972. p. 15.
  4. ^ "How the party candidates fared across the country". The Toronto Star. 9 July 1974. p. A12.
  5. ^ Peters, Diane (31 December 2015). "Jim Gillies: Schulich School of Business first dean 'thought big'". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  6. ^ Beltrame, Julian (24 December 2009). "Extremely cautious optimism". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 25 March 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  7. ^ "Obituary: James McPhail Gillies". Globe and Mail. 13 December 2015.

External linksEdit