Alumni Western Be Extraordinary The Campaign For Western

David Peterson, BA'64, LLD'6

December 14, 2012

david peterson
Chairman, Cassels, Brock & Blackwell LLP. Former Premier of Ontario

David Peterson served as the 20th premier of Ontario from 1985-90, the first Liberal to hold the office in 42 years.

After graduating from Western University, he received a bachelor of laws degree from the University of Toronto and studied in France at the University of Caen. Peterson was called to the bar in 1969.

Western conferred an honorary doctor of laws degree in 2006 in recognition of his achievements in politics, business and as a committed public citizen.

Born Dec. 28, 1943, Peterson was president of his father's electronics firm before being elected in 1975 as MPP for London Centre. He became leader of the provincial Liberal party in 1982 and premier in 1985 after signing an historic accord with the opposition New Democratic Party.

He was chief federal negotiator for the devolution of the Northwest Territories in the 1990s and has worked on a number of important negotiations with the First Nations.

Following his political career, Peterson joined the Toronto law firm of Cassels, Brock & Blackwell LLP, where he is chairman and practises corporate and commercial law.

He was chancellor at the University of Toronto from 2006-12 and chairman of the successful Toronto bid for the 2015 Pan Am Games.

Peterson, who lives in Toronto and Caledon with wife, Shelley, an author and actor, is director of a number of private and public companies, including Rogers Communications Inc., Franco-Nevada Corporation and Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. and was the Founding Chairman of the Toronto Raptors Basketball Club Inc. and Chapters Inc.

His charity work includes being a director or active with several organizations, such as the Shaw Festival, Ontario March of Dimes, Canadian Club, Peter Lougheed Medical Research Foundation and Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

Peterson’s interests include theatre, horseback riding, golf, skiing, tennis, reading and gardening.

He and his wife have three children – Benjamin, Chloë and Adam - and two grandsons, Luke and Harry Dirksen.


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