Donald K. Johnson

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Donald K. Johnson, O.C. (born 1935) is a Canadian philanthropist who was born and raised in Lundar, Manitoba. He currently resides in Toronto, Ontario.

Johnson received a B.Sc. in electrical engineering from the University of Manitoba in 1957 and a M.B.A. from the Ivey Business School in 1963.[1] His initial career was in electrical engineering with Canadian General Electric in Toronto and Federal Electric Corporation on the DEW line in the Canadian Arctic.

Johnson began his career in the investment industry in 1963 when he joined Burns Bros. & Denton Ltd. Since then he has held a series of management positions in Institutional Equity, Sales, Trading, Research, International, Retail and Investment Management. He was President of Burns Fry (1984–1989), and Vice-Chairman, Investment Banking, for BMO Nesbitt Burns and predecessor companies (1989–2004). Mr. Johnson continues as Member, Advisory Board, BMO Capital Markets.

Johnson's activity in the non-for-profit sector is extensive. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Ivey Business School at Western University, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation and Chairman of its Vision Campaign, a $15 million campaign for the Eye Centre at Toronto Western Hospital. He is Chairman Emeritus and director of the Council for Business and the Arts in Canada, and a member of the 2014 Major Individual Gifts Campaign Cabinet of the United Way of Greater Toronto. He is a past board member of the National Ballet of Canada, the Bishop Strachan School Foundation, and was Chairman of the Investment Dealers Association and a Governor of the Toronto Stock Exchange. In 1996-97 Johnson chaired a successful $13 million capital campaign for the National Ballet to build a new home for the Company in Toronto. Johnson has played the lead role on behalf of the charitable sector in Canada in lobbying the federal government to remove tax barriers for gifts of publicly listed securities to registered charities. His efforts over many years met with success first in 1997 when the Canadian government cut the capitals gains tax for such gifts in half, and then further in 2006 when the tax was eliminated entirely.[2]

Johnson is a recipient of the Outstanding Volunteer Award, Association of Fundraising Professionals (1997),[3] Friends of the Association of Gift Planners (1997), Richard Ivey School of Business Distinguished Service (1998) and the Arbor Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service to the University of Toronto (1999). In 2013, he was named as an Inaugural Inductee to the IIAC Investment Industry Hall of Fame. [4]

Johnson was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2005.[5] He was promoted to Officer in 2009 "for his key role in changing Canada’s tax laws to eliminate the capital gains tax on gifts of publicly traded securities to registered charities, and for his support of health care research and the arts".[6]