The Premier of education Bill Davis has died at age of 92

The qualities that make up an effective leader are the same as those that characterize a good human being. The main attributes are empathy, prudence, courage, and generosity. Generosity is giving without expectation of return for others to benefit from whatever was given away – this might come in a material form or simply by lending a supporting hand to help with something that requires assistance; Courage means pushing past one’s fear and taking appropriate action even if not everyone agrees with it, those were the qualities of our former Hon. Premier Bill Davis, Who just passed away on Sunday morning in Brampton at the age of 92.

Also, everyone wants to be a leader. People like being in a position of power and having a certain level of control over others. It’s human nature. However, it’s precisely this kind of thinking which makes a bad leader. But Bill Davis was not one of those at all.

Being a leader does not mean being the boss of others. It means being responsible for your team and the province, country, city or town. A good leader inspires and influences their team members and the citizens to be better and more productive. Even though a leader has more power, they should use it judiciously and build an equal relationship with their subordinates; that’s what Hon. Bill Davis was.

Great leaders find the balance between business foresight, performance, and character. They have the vision, courage, integrity, humility and focus, and the ability to plan strategically and catalyze cooperation amongst their team. That’s what our Bill was.

The Conservative Party magnate often referred to as Ontario’s “premier of education,” held the position from 1971 to 1985, succeeding the late John Robarts.

He reduced the number of boards from 3,676 in 1962 (many boards had presided over a single school before Davis’s reforms) to 192 by 1967. Davis established new public universities as ministers, including Trent University and Brock University, and established the province’s community college system.

He was also responsible for establishing Canada’s first educational research institute, the Ontario Institute for Education Studies, in 1965 and for establishing the educational television network of the Ontario Educational Communications Authority, now TVOntario, in 1970. The management Davis’s portfolio of education made it a top notch. minister in profile, and there was no surprise when he entered the leadership contest to succeed Robarts in 1971.

When I reached Brampton Mayor Patrick brown for his comment, he said, ‘Former Premier Bill Davis taught me about decency.  He governed minority parliaments with success by understanding that there is no monopoly on a good idea.  While I was in provincial politics, Bill Davis’ counsel was the one I courted most. In the summer of 2016, I was kindly invited to visit the former Premier at his cottage in Honey Harbour.  His advice, insights and thoughts are a national treasure.  He once called me because I was too partisan in Question Period attacking a Liberal scandal. He reminded me to be more generous.  Davis governed with honesty, and he was principled in his leadership.  He earned the respect of all Ontarians. When I faced adversity in politics, Bill Davis told me to keep my chin up, who attended my wedding and lent me his confidence and support in my Mayoral election campaign.

I likely would not be in public office today without his unwavering friendship.   I am so glad that we celebrated his accomplishments by awarding him the Key to the City in November 2019. 

In addition, unlike most governors in Canada, Davis strongly supported Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s 1981 plan to withdraw the Canadian Constitution from the United Kingdom and add the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to it. Davis’s role in the 1981 Constitution negotiations was crucial to reaching a compromise that led to the passage of the 1982 Constitution.

The Ontario Association of Catholic Supervising Officers presented its 2015 Honorary Membership Award to Davis to recognize his leadership in ensuring the continued presence of separate schools in Ontario. In 1987, Davis was appointed a Senior Honorary Fellow of Renison University College, located in Waterloo, Ontario.

On October 24, 2006, Davis received his first honors degree from Seneca College and awarded him a Bachelor of Applied Studies with honors. “Bill Davis deserves to receive Seneca’s first honorary degree,” said Dr. Rick Mina, dean of Seneca College. “As one of the architects of the Ontario University system, he is responsible for a vibrant higher education environment that remains the backbone of our province’s economy.”

The Public Policy Forum awarded Bill Davis at the 2011 Awards Dinner for his contributions to public life, public policy, and governance in Canada.

About the author

Asia Metro Editor

Surjit Singh Flora
editor@asiametro.ca

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