Former lieutenant governor David Onley Disability made several headlines after he lost his life on January 14, 2023, at 72.
David Charles Onley was a Canadian broadcaster and author who served as the 28th lieutenant governor of Ontario for seven years till 2014.
Ontario native was inducted into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame and the Scarborough Walk of Fame.
Before being appointed lieutenant governor, Onley also served as the chair of the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council and was a member of the Rogers Centre and Air Canada Centre’s accessibility councils.
David served as the University’s Special Ambassador for the Parapan American Games and the 2015 Pan American.
What Was David Onley’s Disability?
The Star claims David used a motorized scooter after having polio as a child and was the first visibly disabled person after his appointment in 2007.
David emerged as a champion of disability rights during and after his stint as Ontario’s 28th lieutenant governor.
Records show the former governor used a motorized scooter throughout his life after contracting polio as a child and frequently drew on his lived experience when highlighting existing accessibility barriers in all facets of society.
As the province’s first Lieutenant Governor with a disability, he utilized his vice-regal position to help remove physical barriers to Ontario’s 1.5 million people with disabilities and focus on other issues affecting the disabled, including obstacles to employment and housing.
At the time of Onley’s appointment, former prime minister Stephen Harper described Davis as a “respected author, broadcaster and tireless champion for persons with disabilities.”
Sources claim the former governor’s scathing report on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act offered a withering indictment of nearly all aspects of the law and concluded the province was near its goal of ensuring universal accessibility by 2025.
David Onley Death: What Happened To Lieutenant Governor?
Ontario’s former lieutenant governor, David Onley, left the world at 72.
In late 2019, David was rushed to the emergency after a brain scan revealed a tumor at the front of his brain.
After his death, Elizabeth Dowdeswell released a statement announcing the governor’s death and conveyed condolences to his wife, Ruth Ann, and children, Jonathan, Robert, and Michael.
As soon as his death was made public, several social media were flooded with tributes on January 14 and 15 over the news of Davis’s demise.
David made history throughout his seven years in office, the advocacy group Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Alliance and helped Campaign for AODA Alliance to give testimony on Bill C-22, the proposed Canada Disability Benefits Act.
After his demise, Toronto Mayor John Tory posted a statement to Twitter, calling Onley “gracious and committed” and a “champion” for disability issues who contributed to the community.
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David Onley Death Cause And Obituary
David was survived by his wife, Ruth Ann, and children, Jonathan, Robert, and Michael.
However, the media has not unveiled the cause of his death.
CBC reported, “Politicians and colleagues remembered Onley’s character and advocacy upon the news of his death.”
Records show during his tenure; the governor channeled his passion for access to opportunities into expanding literacy and education programs for Indigenous people in Ontario while “emphasizing the importance of reconciliation.”
The former governor served as Colonel of the Regiment of The Queen’s York Rangers (1st American Regiment) as Lieutenant Governor and Honorary Colonel of 25 Field Ambulance.
Moreover, he received the Rick Hansen Award of Excellence and the Courage to Come Back Award and held 11 honorary degrees.
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