mi-ns-fred-dickson

Nova Scotia Senator Fred Dickson died Thursday. He was 74 years old. (www.parl.gc.ca)

Nova Scotia Senator Fred Dickson, a respected lawyer and expert on offshore resources, is being remembered for promoting the province's energy interests over a number of years.

The Conservative Senator died early Thursday. He was 74.

Dickson was a lawyer who first entered political life as a senior adviser with the provincial government of John Buchanan. He advised federal and provincial governments on numerous projects, including Nova Scotia's oil and gas agreements with Ottawa in the early 1980s.

Dickson also played a key role advising the federal government on the building of the Confederation Bridge, which links New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who appointed Dickson to the Senate in late 2008, issued a statement on Thursday expressing his condolences to the senator's friends and family.

"In the Senate, he was a key member of various committees, working diligently with his colleagues on sustaining Canada's health-care system and on advancing energy infrastructure in Atlantic Canada," said the statement.

"The people of Nova Scotia and of Canada mourn the passing today of this notable Canadian. He remained a committed advocate for Nova Scotia throughout his life and will be missed."

Federal interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae also expressed his condolences.

Born in Glace Bay, N.S., Dickson graduated from Acadia University in 1958 and received a law degree from Dalhousie University in 1962.

Prior to joining the Senate, he was a director of a wide range of associations and corporations, including Nova Scotia's Offshore-Onshore Technologies Association, Air Canada, High Liner Foods Inc., Cape Breton Development Corp. and National Sea Products Ltd.

Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter said Dickson deserves credit for helping to win federal support for the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in Labrador.

"He was one of those people who really mobilized the Conservative caucus in Ottawa," Dexter said.

"Obviously, we are very thankful to him for his work on that."

Jamie Baillie, leader of the provincial Progressive Conservatives, said Nova Scotians will benefit for years from Dickson's work on the offshore energy accords.

With files from The Canadian Press