Wally Downer

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Wally Downer
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded byWilfred Davy Smith
Succeeded byGeorge McCague
Personal details
Born(1904-05-01)May 1, 1904
Penetanguishene, Ontario
DiedAugust 3, 1994(1994-08-03) (aged 90)
Collingwood, Ontario
Political partyProgressive Conservative
SpousePhyllis Palmer
OccupationAnglican priest

Alfred Wallace Downer (May 1, 1904[1] – August 3, 1994[2]) was a Canadian politician and longtime member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.


Downer was born near Penetanguishene in Simcoe County, Ontario.[1] He was educated at Cookstown Continuation School, Alliston High School, the University of Toronto and Wycliffe College. After completing his schooling, he was ordained an Anglican priest. He was a vicar and then a canon in the Anglican Church of Canada and a member of the Conservative Party.


He ran unsuccessfully in the provincial riding of Wellington Northeast in 1929 and then was first elected to the legislature as the member for Dufferin—Simcoe in the 1937 election.[1] He served as Member of Provincial Parliament until 1975,[3] winning a provincial record of ten consecutive elections.[1]

While an elected MPP, he also served in the military during World War II, serving as chaplain of the Queen's York Rangers in North Africa and Europe.[1] From 1955 until 1959, he served as Speaker of the legislative assembly.[3] He also served as a liquor control commissioner beginning in 1960.[1]

Downer was a candidate in the 1961 PC leadership convention, but was eliminated on the third ballot.[1]

Downer had expected to run in the 1975 election and had expected to win his party's nomination by acclamation but was upset by another candidate,[1] George McCague, at the Progressive Conservative nomination meeting.[4]

In 1994, Downer died at the age of 90.[2] in Collingwood, Ontario.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Dale, Clare A (1992). Whose servant I am" : speakers of the assemblies of the province of Upper Canada, Canada and Ontario, 1792-1992. Toronto: Ontario Legislative Library. pp. 257–60.
  2. ^ a b Politics and Public Affairs 1994. University of Toronto Press. 2000. p. 258. ISBN 0802048285.
  3. ^ a b Alfred Downer's parliamentary history, Ontario Legislature
  4. ^ "Former MPP George McCague dead at 84". Orangeville Citizen. July 16, 2014. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014.
  5. ^ "'Playful parson' served 38 years". The Windsor Star. August 8, 1994. p. A2.