- John Black Aird
The grandson of Canadian financier Sir John Aird, John Black Aird was educated at
Upper Canada College, Trinity College and Osgoode Hall Law Schoolof York University. He practised law in Toronto and headed his own firm, Aird & Berlis LLPin 1974.
World War II, he served in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve. In 1944, he married Lucille Housser. From 1964 to 1974, he served as a Liberal 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 Universityin Waterloo.
Aird was appointed an Officer of the
Order of Canada, and served as Lieutenant-Governor 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, shortly following the 1985 Ontario election, the Progressive Conservative
minority governmentof Frank Miller was defeated by a motion of no confidence. The defeat occurred after an accord was reached between the David PetersonLiberals and Bob Rae's New Democratic Party to allow the Liberals 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 Affairand accused Aird of partisanship for asking Peterson to form a government rather than dissolving the legislature and calling a new election. The consensus among constitutional experts, however, is that Aird acted correctly as there had been an election only weeks before the government's defeat in the House, and as it was clear that Peterson had the support in the House to form a government.
Aird was appointed to the
Order of Ontarioin 1987 and in 1993 he was promoted to Companion in the Order of Canada. He died in Toronto in 1995.
* [http://www.gg.ca/honours/search-recherche/honours-desc.asp?lang=e&TypeID=orc&id=883 Order of Canada Citation]
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