This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
In the farewell comments of outgoing lieutenant governor David Onley on Monday, he remembered his seven years in the vice-regal position, recalling the meeting with Queen Elizabeth II and witnessing the deplorable conditions on native reserves.
However, Onley wished to be remembered by his improvement in accessibility for the disabled in Ontario, and that also not only in terms of barriers but also access to jobs. He mentioned that “I don’t think economic recovery can occur until hundreds of thousand of Ontarians who are currently on government assistance . . . until they are actually employed.” Onley will vacate the office on Tuesday and hand it over to incoming Elizabeth Dowdeswell, who is a former undersecretary general of the United Nations with a long public service record.
Onley alleged that he was amazed to learn how much the vice-regal institution means to Ontarians. He explained that “I have seen this in audiences big and small.” Even though Onley claims his office was prepared to deal with the aftermath of a short-lived minority government, he said “I would say in a completely apolitical way we were very relieved because we were looking at what could have been a completely unprecedented circumstances of a government going to the polls over the budget and then potentially winning a minority and the first thing they would have to do is come back with that (same) budget which could in all likelihood be defeated and then we would be right back at square root one.”