HON. DAVID R. PETERSON, P.C., Q.C., O.ONT., C. ST. J., C.L.H., D.U., L.L.D.
Mr. Peterson is Chairman of the law firm of Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, where he practises corporate / commercial law.
Mr. Peterson is Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Toronto, a director of St. Michael’s Hospital and was Chairman of the successful Toronto Bid for 2015 Pan Am Games. In September 2013, Mr. Peterson accepted the nomination to become Chair of the Toronto 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games Organizing Committee (TO2015).
He is a director of a number of public and private 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.
Mr. Peterson is or was director or active with a number of charitable, educational and environmental organizations including the Shaw Festival, the Ontario March of Dimes, the Ontario Canada Day Committee, Canadian Club, Cercle Canadien, Council for Canadian Unity, Young Presidents Organization, World President’s Organization, the Society for Educational Visits & 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 as well as being on the Advisory Board of the Coady International Institute and the Steering Committee of the Toronto City Summit Alliance.
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. He was an adjunct professor at York University, a fellow of McLaughlin College and Executive-in-Residence at Rotman School of Management and a senior fellow of Massey College. 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 Law 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 summoned by Her Majesty to the Privy Council in 1992. Mr. Peterson has received honorary doctorates from the University of Toronto, the University of Western Ontario, the University of Ottawa, the University of Tel Aviv and the American University of the Caribbean.
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 Ordre de 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 two grandsons, Luke and Harry Dirksen. Mr. Peterson’s interests include theatre, riding, biking, skiing, tennis, reading, and gardening.
2016 Summer Conference
The Canada Project
Identity, Citizenship, and Nationhood in a Changing World
August 5-7, 2016
The YMCA Geneva Park Conference Centre, Orillia, ON