According to Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Bill Davis, the 18th Premier of Ontario, died early Sunday morning. He was 92 years old when he died.
“Mr. Davis served his province for more than 25 years and was the province’s second-longest-serving Premier, leading the province for 14 years during a pivotal period in its history,” Trudeau said in a statement.
“He launched TVOntario and oversaw the construction of numerous new universities and the province’s community college system as Premier and as a long-serving Minister of Education,” Trudeau stated.
Davis helped to construct Canada’s first environmental land use plan and was instrumental in the patriation of the Constitution, which resulted in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, according to Trudeau’s statement on Sunday.
Davis was also a “skilled statesman,” according to Trudeau, and a guy who, like Trudeau’s father, former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, championed work on fundamental issues like diversity and human rights.
“Mr. Davis was sworn in as a member of the Queen’s Privy Council of Canada in 1982, in appreciation of his many accomplishments. In 1986, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada, and in 1987, he was made a Companion of the Order of Ontario, and in 2001, he was made a Knight of France’s Legion of Honor “Trudeau stated.
Trudeau expressed his sympathies to Davis’s family and friends, calling him a “great leader.” Davis had served the province “with honor and distinction,” according to current Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
“While his achievements as Premier are too many to mention, he will be remembered most for the kindness and decency with which he conducted himself on a daily basis,” Ford added. He expressed gratitude to the Davis family for allowing Ontario to have Bill Davis. “We’re all better for it, and he’ll be sorely missed,” Ford added.
I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Bill Davis. The former Premier of Ontario leaves behind an incredible legacy of service – and I have no doubt that the impact of his work will be felt for generations to come. My thoughts are with his family and friends today.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) August 8, 2021
I was in Grade 4 when Bill Davis became Minister of Education. The Ontario I grew up in was fashioned by his deep belief in public education and service to others. When I was Premier he would reach out. Such a privilege to have known him.
— Kathleen Wynne (@Kathleen_Wynne) August 8, 2021
Bill Davis was an exceptional Canadian and an outstanding public servant. His devotion to the people of Ontario and to our country defined his life. I am forever grateful for his role in helping forge the new Conservative Party of Canada and for his wise and generous counsel.
— Stephen Harper (@stephenharper) August 8, 2021