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From John Sandfield Macdonald to Kathleen Wynne

Premiers of Ontario cover

Jean Chevrier, Denis Daigneault and
Gerald Gummersell, Editors

ISBN 978-1-987832-14-3
$29.95 (taxes included)


Hon. R. Roy McMurtry OC, O Ont, QC, LSM
Former Chief Justice of Ontario
Former Canadian High Commissioner to UK
Former Attorney General of Ontario

Since the advent of Confederation in 1867, twenty-five premiers have served as the heads of the Ontario government.  The province of Ontario enjoys an active democracy and a committed electorate whose collective memory reaches back in time to the earliest days of exploration and colonization; Ontario institutions continue to redefine and reshape the original British models.

Successive premiers defined good government, expanded education and agriculture, and pioneered resource development.  In recent times they have dealt with the historical upheavals caused by industrialization, world wars and economic depression, and have implemented policies that are the envy of the world. More recently, the province has welcomed thousands of immigrants from all over the world, and its premiers have set the standard for the respect of the rights of all of its citizens.

Over the past one hundred and fifty years, Ontario’s dedicated premiers have sought to ensure the province’s economic, cultural and social development within a federal system that itself has often been challenging. Ontario premiers have distinguished themselves on the federal-provincial stage in their search for a caring and responsible system of government.
I was privileged to serve for a decade as the Attorney General in the government of William G. Davis who is acknowledged to be one of the truly distinguished premiers of Ontario.

New Federation House has been fortunate in finding excellent authors for the essays in this book. These writers and scholars have explored the lives and careers of Ontario’s premiers, and have shed light on the way they have provided leadership in a province whose industrial base, environment and demographics have become increasingly complex over time.

This volume on the premiers of Ontario is the sixth in the series on Canadian leaders and the second devoted to provincial leaders.


Christo Aivalis (George Alexander Drew) is an adjunct professor of history at Queen’s University. His has appeared in Active History, The Canadian Historical Review, Labour/le Travail, Canadian Dimension, and Our Times Magazine. He has also been a media contributor to the Toronto Star and CBC.

Dimitry Anastakis (Dalton James Patrick McGuinty, Jr.) teaches at Trent University in Peterborough, specializing in Canadian political and economic history.

Stephen Azzi (Kathleen O’Day Wynne) is associate professor of political management, history, and political science at Carleton University

Michael Behiels (William Grenville Davis) is a Canadian political and constitutional historian at the University of Ottawa and an emeritus professor and fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He has published extensively on the history of contemporary Quebec, Canadian federalism and constitutional development, as well as on Canada’s francophone minority communities and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Michael Bliss (George Howard Ferguson) holds the elite rank of university professor emeritus at the University of Toronto.  He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and the recipient of six honorary degrees for his career contributions to history.  His many books include Right Honourable Men:  The Descent of Canadian Politics from Macdonald to Chrétien.

Penny E. Bryden (Leslie Miscampbell Frost) is a professor of history at the University of Victoria and the author of several books, including A Justifiable Obsession’: Conservative Ontario’s Relations with Ottawa, 1943-1985.

Patrice Dutil (James Pliny Whitney) is Professor of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University, and the author of many books and articles on various aspects of Canadian political history. He also is President of the Champlain Society.

Thirstan Falconer (David Robert Peterson) is a PhD candidate in history at the University of Victoria and specializes in twentieth-century Canadian political history with an emphasis on the politicization of ethno-cultural groups.

Larry A. Glassford (Mitchel Frederick Hepburn) is a professor of history and social studies with the Faculty of Education at the University of Windsor, and specializes in the post-Confederation political history of Canada and Ontario.

Norman Hillmer (Ernie Eves) is professor of history and international affairs at Carleton University and the author of Prime Ministers: Ranking Canada’s Leaders and O. D. Skelton: A Portrait of Canadian Ambition.

Gaëtan Jeaurond (John Sandfield Macdonald) is a writer, poet, former civil servant, protocol expert, and a director of New Federation House.

Mark Kuhlberg (William Howard Hearst) is a professor of history at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, whose field of expertise is forest history. He is also active involved the contemporary forestry world through several committees and councils.

Arthur Milnes (Robert Keith Rae), a long-time student of the Rae government and era, is editor of Canada Always: The Speeches of Sir Wilfrid Laurier and has edited and co-edited numerous books about Canadian Prime Ministers and American Presidents in the Canadian context.

Lorne Monti (Oliver Mowat) is a versatile wordsmith, essayist, and editor whose career extends from the film business to features writing. He is also a director of New Federation House.

Adrian Morrow (Michael Deane Harris) is a political reporter at The Globe and Mail. He has covered Queen’s Park since 2013.

Desmond Morton (Gordon Daniel Conant; Harry Corwin Nixon) is a history professor emeritus at McGill University, an officer of the Order of Canada and author of some 42 books, mostly on Canadian military history and political-military history. He also taught at the University of Ottawa and the University of Toronto.

Nelle Oosterom (Ernest Charles Drury) is a senior editor with Canada’s History magazine, and her work has appeared in Native Leaders of Canada, The Governors General of Canada, 100 Days That Changed Canada, and a variety of magazines and newspapers.

Steve Paikin (John Parmenter Robarts) is anchor of TVO’s flagship nightly current affairs program The Agenda with Steve Paikin and is the author of Public Triumph, Private Tragedy: The Double Life of John P. Robarts.

Christopher Pennington (Dominick Edward Blake) earned a PhD from the University of Toronto in 2007. He has worked since 2011 as a manuscript editor for the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.

Jeanne Poulin (Frank Stuart Miller) writes biographical and historical essays for New Federation House. As a storyteller, she focuses on the survival conditions of Canada’s First Nations as well as on the life of first-generation pioneers in New France. She is also a director of New Federation House.

André Pratte (Arthur Sturgis Hardy) is a historian and novelist who lives in the Outaouais region; he is working on his fourth novel. A former schoolteacher, his two passions are literature and music.

Peter Price (George William Ross) received a PhD in history from Queen’s University. He is currently a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge.

Jonathan Scotland (George Stewart Henry) is an historian and researcher with the Dictionary of Canadian Biography. His dissertation examines Canadian veterans after the First World War.

Andrew Thomson (Thomas Laird Kennedy) teaches Canadian history at Wilfrid Laurier University and the history of business at Schulich School of Business, York University.


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