Long after Mr. Crawford had departed and Imasco was broken up, Imperial Tobacco announced a settlement in 2008 with federal and provincial governments to pay a $200-million fine for smuggling activities in the 1980s and 1990s. All other major Canadian tobacco companies faced similar penalties, and Mr. Crawford never spoke publicly about the legal issues.
Outside of work, he spent his holidays at his family compound on the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, and remained committed to promoting business and education causes in Atlantic Canada.
He made large donations to Maritime universities, especially to his alma mater, Mount Allison, where he has helped finance construction of the new Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts.
David Wheeler, president of Cape Breton University, where Mr. Crawford helped fund aboriginal business studies, said he was made an honorary chief of the Membertou First Nation and given the name Rising Tide in appreciation for his commitment to the community.
“He would joke that he was still searching for his twin, Chief Ebbing Tide,” Mr.Wheeler recalls.
Mr. Crawford’s daughter Heather said her father appreciated the honour so much that the family named his new vacation home on the Bay of Fundy “Rising Tide.”
“It signifies that [Membertou] position, and also the fact that we really felt our father raised all ships, as the tide does. Whether in the business community or at home, his presence raised us all,” she said.
In addition to Beatrice, his wife of 63 years, Mr. Crawford leaves six children: Suzanne, Heather, Mary, David, Barbara and Sarah; and 17 grandchildren.
With files from reporters Boyd Erman, Tara Perkins and Jane Taber
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