John Aird

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Person.png John Aird  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
John Aird.png
Born5 May 1923
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died6 May 1995 (Age 72)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Alma materUpper Canada College, University of Toronto, Osgoode Hall Law School
ParentsJohn Aird (banker)
SpouseLucille Housser
PartyLiberal Party of Canada
Canadian lawyer and corporate director. Canadian Senator 1964-74

Employment.png Senator from Ontario

In office
November 10, 1964 - November 28, 1974

Employment.png Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

In office
September 15, 1980 - September 20, 1985

John Black Aird [1] was a Canadian lawyer, corporate director and political figure. He was a member of the Senate of Canada from 1964 to 1974, and he was Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 1980 to 1985.

Life and career

Aird was born in Toronto, Ontario, and was the grandson of Sir John Aird, a prominent Canadian banker. He was educated at Upper Canada College, Trinity College and Osgoode Hall Law School. Aird was a Brother at the Toronto Chapter of Alpha Delta Phi.

During World War II, Aird served in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve. In 1944, he married Lucille Housser.

Aird practised law in Toronto and headed his own firm, Aird & Berlis, in 1974. He was also a director of several corporations. In 1958, he was appointed to the board of directors of Callaghan Mining.[2] He later was chairman of the board of Algoma Central Railway.[3]

From 1964 to 1974, he was a Liberal party 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 in 1976, and he was 23rd Lieutenant Governor of Ontario 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, 22 days into the 33rd Parliament of Ontario, Premier Frank Miller resigned following his Progressive Conservative government's defeat due to a motion of no confidence. The defeat occurred after an accord had been reached between David Peterson's Liberals and Bob Rae's New Democratic Party to allow Petersen 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.

After his term as Lieutenant Governor, Aird became Chancellor of the University of Toronto, his alma mater.[4] He was made an Honorary Senior Fellow of Renison University College in 1985.[5] He was also Governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.[6]

Aird was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 1987, and he was promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada in 1992. He died in Toronto in 1995.


Event Participated in

Bilderberg/197419 April 197421 April 1974France
Hotel Mont d' Arbois
The 23rd Bilderberg, held in France
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