Norman Spector (born March 6, 1949) is a Canadian journalist and former diplomat, civil servant, and newspaper publisher.

Early life and career

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Spector received a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Political Science, from McGill University in 1970. Awarded a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, he received a Master of Philosophy degree in Political Science from Columbia University in 1972 and a Ph.D. in 1977. In 1974, as a Newhouse Fellow, he received a Master of Science degree in Television, Film and Radio from Syracuse University. In 1974-75, Spector was a lecturer at St. Paul's College of the University of Ottawa.

Civil service

In 1975, he joined the Ontario civil service in the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and held the positions of Manager, Director, and Executive Director. In 1980, he joined the British Columbia civil service serving as Deputy Secretary, Policy for the Ministry of Intergovernmental Relations. From 1982 to 1986, he was Deputy Minister in Bill Bennett's Office of the Premier. From 1986 to 1990, he was Secretary to the Cabinet for Federal-Provincial Relations in Ottawa. From 1990 to 1992, he was Brian Mulroney's Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister.

From 1992 to 1995, he was Ambassador of Canada to Israel, the first Jewish Canadian to hold the post, and High Commissioner to Cyprus. After the in Gaza-Jericho agreement was signed between Israeli and Palestinian leaders in 1994, he became Canada's first Representative to the Palestinian Authority. From 1995 to 1996, he was President of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

Corporate career and newspaper columnist

Resigning from the public service in 1996, he became Vice-President, Corporate Affairs for Imperial Tobacco Limited in September of that year. In January 1997, he was appointed Publisher of The Jerusalem Post.

In the 1990s and 2000s, he wrote for The Globe and Mail and Le Devoir. While at The Globe, a column he wrote alleging Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife had separated was retracted and removed from the paper's website. The Globe said at the time that Spector fell short of its "editorial standards with respect to fairness, balance and accuracy."[1]

He published a book, Chronicle of a War Foretold: How Mideast Peace Became America’s Fight in 2003 and, a year later, wrote about his experience working for PM Brian Mulroney in the Afterword to "A Secret Trial"--William Kaplan's second book on what is popularly known as the Airbus affair. Spector appeared as a witness in early 2008 at the Canadian House of Commons Ethics Committee's hearings on relations between Mulroney and German-Canadian lobbyist Karlheinz Schreiber, which is formally known as the review of the Airbus settlement. A public inquiry, called by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, will also take place on these matters, following the Ethics Committee's hearings.[2]

In 2006, Spector gained a considerable amount of press coverage for referring to Belinda Stronach as "a bitch".[3][4][5] He refused to apologize for his remark about Stronach, who was at the time a Member of Parliament.[6]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-10-05. Retrieved 2016-10-04. 
  2. ^ The Globe and Mail, January 26, 2008.
  3. ^[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ . Toronto  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-22. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-10-05. Retrieved 2016-10-04. 

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Stanley Hartt
Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister's Office
Succeeded by
Hugh Segal
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Michael Dougall Bell
Canadian Ambassador to Israel
Succeeded by
David Berger
Preceded by
Michael Dougall Bell
Canadian High Commissioner to Cyprus
Succeeded by
Alexandra Bugailiskis