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Clifford L. Mort
It took many visionaries to develop the western Canadian oilpatch, but Cliff Mort will be remembered as the "father of the petrochemical industry in Alberta". Indeed, Premier Peter Lougheed acknowledged, with others, that without Cliff, Alberta would not have a petrochemical industry.
Born on September 27, 1923 in Toronto and raised in Ontario, Cliff graduated from the University of Toronto and joined Dow Chemical Canada as a process engineer at Sarnia in 1951.
He moved up through the company in the 1960s, and in 1972 he moved to Alberta to direct Dow's petrochemical development for western Canada. Dow promoted him to vice-president of Government Affairs, Services and New Business Ventures in 1976, and he became chairman of the board in 1980.
Cliff realized that Alberta could produce ethane from natural gas and sell it as a value-added product to the petrochemical industry. His dogged pursuit of this vision created a new industry in the Canadian west and provided thousands of construction and operational jobs in this province.
Although he passed away on October 24, 1999, Cliff's unique contribution to the western Canadian oi patch lives on through the Alberta petrochemical industry.