Jan 15, 2023

By Jeremy Logan

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David Onley, who served as lieutenant-governor of Ontario for seven years, has passed away. He was 72.

Onley’s death was announced in a statement by current Lieutenant-Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell on Saturday night, but no further information was given.

She says he is survived by his wife Ruth Ann and three sons.

When Onley was appointed to the role of lieutenant-governor in 2007, he was the first person with a visible disability to hold the position. Onley had polio as a child and used a motorized scooter.

Both during and after his service, he advocated for accessibility issues, and at one point delivered a harsh critique of Ontario’s attempts to comply with its own accessibility laws.

David Onley was named to the Order of Canada in 2017.

Prior to his role as lieutenant-governor, Onley had a long career as a television newscaster, starting with Citytv in 1984 where he was a science and weather specialist.

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