John Black Aird
|Captain (N) The Honourable
John Black Aird
C.C., O.Ont., Q.C.
|Senator from Ontario|
November 10, 1964 – November 28, 1974
|Nominated by||Lester Pearson|
|23rd Lieutenant Governor of Ontario|
September 15, 1980 – September 20, 1985
|Governor General||Edward Schreyer
|Preceded by||Pauline Mills McGibbon|
|Succeeded by||Lincoln Alexander|
May 5, 1923|
|Died||May 6, 1995
Born in Toronto, Ontario, the grandson of Canadian financier Sir John Aird, John Black Aird was educated at Upper Canada College, Trinity College and Osgoode Hall Law School. He was a Brother at the Toronto Chapter of the Alpha Delta Phi. He practised law in Toronto and headed his own firm, Aird & Berlis LLP in 1974.
Aird served as a director of several corporations. In 1958 Aird was appointed to the board of directors of Callaghan Mining. Aird later served as chairman of the board of Algoma Central Railway.
During World War II, he served in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve. In 1944, he married Lucille Housser. From 1964 to 1974, he served as a Liberal Senator. In 1971, he was Chairman of the Canada-United States Permanent Joint Board on Defence. From 1977 to 1985, he was Chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo.
Aird was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada, and served as Lieutenant-Governor from 1980 to 1985. The main focus of his mandate was Ontarians with disabilities. He wrote a book, Loyalty in a Changing World, about the contemporary function of the Lieutenant Governor.
He was lieutenant-governor when, shortly following the 1985 Ontario election, the Progressive Conservative minority government of Frank Miller was defeated by a motion of no confidence. The defeat occurred after an accord was reached between the David Peterson Liberals and Bob Rae's New Democratic Party to allow the Liberals to form a minority government for two years with NDP support despite the fact that the Liberals had slightly fewer seats than the Tories. Some media outlets, such as the conservative Toronto Sun, compared the matter to the King-Byng Affair and accused Aird of partisanship for asking Peterson to form a government rather than dissolving the legislature and calling a new election. The consensus among constitutional experts, however, is that Aird acted correctly as there had been an election only weeks before the government's defeat in the House, and as it was clear that Peterson had the support in the House to form a government.
Aird was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 1987 and in 1993 he was promoted to Companion in the Order of Canada. He died in Toronto in 1995.
- "Aird, John Black". Who Was Who in America, 1993-1996, vol. 11. New Providence, N.J.: Marquis Who's Who. 1996. p. 3. ISBN 0837902258.
- "Callahan Mining Adds A Lawyer to Its Board" (in English). New York Times. 1958-10-02. Retrieved May 2013. "John B. Aird The election of John B. Aird as a director of the Callahan Mining Corporat!on has been announced by Joseph T. Hall, president, He succeed the ..."
- George Wharton. "Great Lakes Fleet Page Vessel Feature -- John B. Aird". Boatnerd.com. Retrieved 2013-07-01. "Mr. Aird was born May 5, 1923 at Toronto, ON; trained as a lawyer being appointed to the Queen’s Counsel on January 1, 1960 and was a former Chairman of the Board of Algoma Central Railway."
- Alan Barnes (1986-04-10). "U of T grad John B. Aird back at school as chancellor". Toronto Star. p. A.19. Retrieved 2013-07-01. "Aird, 62, said he is familiar with the role of chancellor as he held that post at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo for eight years and is now chancellor emeritus."
- "John B. Aird: Society governor was former lieutenant-governor of Ontario" (in English). Canadian Geographic Journal. July 1995. Retrieved May 2013.
- Office of the Governor General of Canada. Order of Canada citation. Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 24 May 2010
- John Black Aird – Parliament of Canada biography
- Archival papers held at University of Toronto Archives and Record Management Services
Paul Joseph Martin
|Chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University
|Chancellor of the University of Toronto