David Onley

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Not to be confused with David Olney, American singer/songwriter.
His Honour the Honourable
David Charles Onley
OOnt
LG Ont wiki.jpg
28th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
In office
September 5, 2007 – September 23, 2014
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Michaëlle Jean
David Johnston
Premier Dalton McGuinty
Kathleen Wynne
Preceded by James K. Bartleman
Succeeded by Elizabeth Dowdeswell
Personal details
Born David Charles Onley
(1950-06-12) June 12, 1950 (age 64)
Midland, Ontario
Spouse(s) Ruth Ann Onley
Profession Journalist
Religion Evangelical Christian, Baptist[1]

David Charles Onley,[2] OOnt (born June 12, 1950)[3] is the 28th and current Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.[4] His term started in 2007 and it will end with the swearing in of his successor on September 23, 2014.[5]

Onley was a television journalist prior to his viceregal appointment. He worked primarily for Citytv as a weather reporter, before moving on to cover science and technology stories. Later on, he worked with the 24-hour news station CablePulse 24 as a news anchor and host of a weekly technology series, Home Page. A published author, he was founding president of the Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Canada.

His seven year term makes him the longest serving Lieutenant Governor of Ontario since Albert Edward Matthews (1937-1946) and the province's third longest serving viceroy since Confederation.

Early life[edit]

David Onley was born in Midland, Ontario, and raised in West Hill on Orchard Park Drive in Scarborough,[6] now part of Toronto. He was educated at the University of Toronto, graduating with a degree in political science.

Beginning at the age of three,[7] Onley battled with polio, resulting in partial paralysis. However, as a result of extensive physical therapy, he regained the use of his hands and arms, and partial use of his legs. Onley is able to walk using leg braces and canes or crutches, but he generally prefers to get around using his electric scooter. He is able to drive a car using hand controls for acceleration and braking.

Career[edit]

Onley began his career in radio, hosting a weekly science show for Toronto radio station CFRB, subsequently joining the CKO network in 1983. He then joined Citytv in 1984 as weather specialist, a position he held until 1989. In a 2004 interview with Link Up, a Toronto employment agency for people with disabilities, Onley stated that

From 1989 to 1995, he was the first news anchor on the then-new Breakfast Television, Citytv's morning show. He served as education specialist for Citytv and CablePulse 24 from 1994 to 1999. Onley became an anchor on CP24, when the station launched in 1999, and both hosted and produced Home Page on CP24.[6]

He was one of Canada's first on-air television personalities with a visible disability;[6] he uses a mobility device due to his paralysis. Camera shots began with only upper body shots, but Onley demanded that the shot include him in his mobility device. In honour of his contributions to the advancement of disability issues in Canada, he has received awards from the Terry Fox Hall of Fame in 1997,[6] and the Clarke Institute's Courage to Come Back award.[6] He was appointed Chair of the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council to the Minister of Community and Social Services in 2005.[9] He was most recently inducted into the Scarborough Walk of Fame in 2006.

Onley wrote Shuttle: A Shattering Novel of Disaster in Space, a bestselling novel about space travel, published in 1981. It was nominated by the Periodical Distributors of Canada as book of the year. He was founding president of the Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Canada.

Onley returned to his acting roots, with a cameo appearance in the sixth season of the Canadian TV series Murdoch Mysteries. The episode, "The Ghost of Queens Park" aired in Canada on February 25, 2013. In it he played the eighth Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Sir Oliver Mowat.[10]

As Lieutenant Governor[edit]

Onley's appointment as lieutenant governor was announced on July 10, 2007; he was privately informed of this after a July 4, 2007, taping of Home Page: "I just had reached the top of the Don Valley Parkway... and there was no place to pull over. And when the Prime Minister of your country calls, all you can try to do is stay in the same lane, avoid any fender-benders and have a meaningful conversation, which I did."[4]

He was sworn in on September 5, 2007, at Queen's Park in Toronto. As the province's first lieutenant governor with a disability, Onley said he would use his vice-regal position to help remove physical barriers to Ontario's 1.5 million people with disabilities, as well as focus on other issues affecting the disabled, including obstacles to employment and housing. Onley also stated, in his installation speech, that he would expand on his immediate predecessor James Bartleman's First Nations literacy initiatives, his aim being to see computers on every student's desk in northern schools.[11] For his installation, Onley approached the legislature on his electric scooter, however he ascended the Throne on foot, using leg braces and canes. Onley also travelled to China to represent the Queen and Canada at the 2008 Summer Paralympics opening ceremony.[12] Onley delivered his last speech from the throne to the Ontario Legislative Assembly on July 3, 2014.

Onley and his wife continued to reside in their Scarborough home during his vice-regal tenure; Ontario is one of three provinces that does not have an official vice-regal residence.[13]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Ruth Ann Onley, a Christian music performer.[14] They have three sons, Jonathan, Robert and Michael.[6]

Titles, honours and awards[edit]

Shorthand titles[edit]

  • June 12, 1950 – September 5, 2007: Mr. David Onley
  • September 5, 2007 – present: His Honour the Honourable David C. Onley, OOnt

Honours[edit]

Country Award or order Class or position Year Citation
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Canada
Order of Ontario Chancellor 2007–present
Order of St John Vice-Prior of the Order of St. John in Ontario, Knight of Justice of the Order 2007–present [15]
Country Organization Award or position Year Citation
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Canada
Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons King Clancy Award 1992 [16]
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Canada
Scarborough Women Teachers Association Award for Broadcasting Excellence 1992 [17]
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Canada
Clarke Institute Courage to Come Back Award 1996 [6]
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Canada
Terry Fox Hall of Fame Inductee 1997–present [6]
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Canada
University of Toronto Positive Impact Award 2001 [17]
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Canada
City of Scarborough Scarborough Walk of Fame Inductee 2006–present [6]
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Canada
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School National Leadership Award 2009 [18]
Academic honours
Country Organization Award or position Year Citation
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Canada
Canada Christian College LLD (hc) date unknown [1]
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Canada
Centennial College Honorary Fellow 2003–present [17]
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Canada
University of Guelph-Humber Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) 2008 [17]
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Canada
University of Windsor Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) 2008 [17]
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Canada
University of Western Ontario Doctor of Laws (jure dignitatis) 2008 [17]
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Canada
Nipissing University Doctor of Education (honoris causa) 2009 [19]
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Canada
University of Toronto Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) 2009 [20]
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Canada
York University Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) 2009 [21]
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Canada
Carleton University Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) 2011 [22]
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Canada
Law Society of Upper Canada Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) 2013

Midland has a David Onley Park, dedicated on his 63rd birthday, 12 June 2013.[23]

VOStJ ribbon.png Order Ontario ribbon bar.svg Canada125 ribbon.png QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png

Ribbon Description Notes
Order of St John (UK) ribbon.png Order of St. John (K.stJ) 2007
  • Knight of Justice
Order Ontario ribbon bar.svg Order of Ontario (O.ont) 2007
Canada125 ribbon.png 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal 1992
QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012
  • Canadian Version of this Medal

Bibliography[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mackey, Lloyd (12 July 2007). "The Emergence of David Onley". CanadianChristianity. Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  2. ^ "Lieutenant Governor welcomes Lieutenant Governor-designate David Onley". Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. 10 July 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-14. [dead link]
  3. ^ "The Honourable David C. Onley, O.Ont.". Queen's Printer for Ontario. September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-15. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b David Onley Appointed Next Lt.-Gov. Of Ontario, www.citynews.ca, June 10, 2007
  5. ^ http://www.whistlerquestion.com/ontario-s-29th-lieutenant-governor-to-be-sworn-in-during-sept-23-ceremony-1.1259132
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Prime Minister announces appointment of David C. Onley as Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario" (Press release). Canadian Prime Minister's Office. 2007-07-10. Retrieved 2007-07-13. 
  7. ^ Oliveria, Michael; Toronto Star: Onley vows focus on access; September 5, 2007
  8. ^ "David Onley: A Success Story"
  9. ^ http://lt.gov.on.ca/20070711_DavidOnleyENG.pdf
  10. ^ "Ontario Lt.-Gov. David Onley films cameo for CBC drama 'Murdoch Mysteries'". WinipegFreePress.com. Retrieved July 13, 2012. 
  11. ^ Editorial; Toronto Star: Vice-regal role model; September 6, 2007
  12. ^ "Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada" (Press release). Queen's Printer for Canada. 26 August 2008. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  13. ^ Henderson, Hellen; Toronto Star: Incoming lieutenant-governor plans to smooth path for all; September 3, 2007
  14. ^ Ruth Ann Onley[dead link]
  15. ^ Canada Gazette
  16. ^ City News: David Onley
  17. ^ a b c d e f Lieutenant Governor of Ontario: Honours
  18. ^ Guelph Mercury. Fight for Equality: Our lady of Lourdes Catholic High School Honours province's Lieutenant Governor. http://news.guelphmercury.com/article/442015 . Accessed 2 March 2009
  19. ^ http://www.nipissingu.ca/departments/presidents-office/honorary_degree/Pages/default.aspx
  20. ^ http://www.convocation.utoronto.ca/Honorary_Graduands_and_Speakers.htm
  21. ^ http://www.yorku.ca/univsec/senate/committees/hondeg/recipients.html
  22. ^ http://www5.carleton.ca/convocation/video-archive/honorary-degrees-fall-2011/
  23. ^ http://www.simcoe.com/news-story/3839937-david-onley-park-officially-dedicated/

External links[edit]

Order of precedence
Preceded by
Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada
Order of precedence in Ontario
as of 2008
Succeeded by
Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario