Honourable David R. Peterson, Chairman, Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games
Thursday, September 10, 2015
The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
Building on the success of the Pan Am Games
Mr. Peterson is Chairman of the Toronto law firm of Cassels Brock and Blackwell LLP, where he practices corporate/commercial law. Mr. Peterson is Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the 2015 Pan American, Parapan American Games. He is Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Toronto, a director of St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation and was Chairman of the successful 2009 Toronto bid for 2015 Pan Am Games. He has been a director of over 30 public and private companies. He is currently a director of Rogers Communications Inc., Franco Nevada Corporation and Ivanhoe Cambridge. He was the Founding Chairman of the Toronto Raptors Basketball Club Inc. and Chapters Inc.
Mr. Peterson is or was Chairman or Director or active with a number of charitable, educational and environmental organizations including the Shaw Festival, Advisory Board of the Coady International Institute, Toronto City Summit Alliance, the Ontario March of Dimes, the Ontario Canada Day Committee, Canadian Club, Cercle Canadien, Council for Canadian Unity, Young President’s Organization, World President’s Organization, the Society for Educational Visits and Exchanges in Canada, Frontier College, Peter Lougheed Medical Research Foundation, Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, Magnetic True North Theatre, West Park Health Centre and Toronto Abuse Centre.
He was chairman of the Commonwealth Team observing the 1992 elections in Guyana. He was chief federal negotiator for the devolution of the Northwest Territories and has worked on a number of important negotiations with the First Nations, including Caledonia and the Ontario Gaming Agreement.
He is a senior fellow at Massey College, a fellow of McLaughlin College and Executive in Residence at Rotman School of Management and was an adjunct professor at York University. He speaks often on national and international issues, as well as being a frequent commentator on television.
Mr. Peterson holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of Toronto and studied at the University of Caen, France.
He was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1969 and appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1980 and was appointed by Her Majesty to the Privy Council in 1992. Mr. Peterson has received many honorary doctorates, including from the University of Toronto, the University of Western Ontario and the University of Ottawa.
In 1994 the government of France appointed him a Knight of the Order of the Legion of Honour of France. In 1995 the International Assembly of French Speaking Parliamentarians presented him with the Ordrede la Pléiade. He was awarded the Order of Ontario in 2009.
In 1975 he was elected as a Member of the Ontario Legislature, and became the leader of the Ontario Liberal party in 1982. He served as Premier of the Province between 1985 and 1990, overseeing a very active period of reform and playing a major role in the country’s constitutional discussions.
He resides in Toronto and Caledon with his actress/author wife Shelley. They have three children Benjamin, Chloë and Adam and three grandsons. Mr. Peterson’s interests include theatre, riding, biking, skiing, reading and gardening.