When David C. Onley was appointed The Queen’s representative in Ontario, his concern for people with disabilities became front page news. And when he took office on 5 September 2007, Ontario’s 28th Lieutenant Governor became a highly placed champion for accessibility.
Colonel The Honourable David C. Onley has championed disability issues on many fronts and for many years. Having lived with polio and post-polio syndrome since the age of three, he has broken through social barriers and become a role model.
In his 22-year career with Citytv, he was Canada’s first senior newscaster with a visible disability. A popular news anchor, host/producer, science and technology specialist, and weatherman, he showed that ability outshines disability.
Mr. Onley has worked tirelessly to improve accessibility for all. He has chaired the Government of Ontario’s Accessibility Standards Advisory Council, and served on the SkyDome Accessibility Council and the Air Canada Centre Accessibility Committee. He has assisted the Muki Baum Association for Multiple Disabilities, the Ontario March of Dimes, Variety Village, the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons, and the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto.
For his public service, Mr. Onley has been honoured with the King Clancy Award for Disabled Persons, the Courage to Come Back Award, and the Positive Impact Award. He was inducted into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame and the Scarborough Walk of Fame, and received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Canada Christian College.
His best-selling novel Shuttle was nominated as Book of the Year in 1982 by the Periodical Distributor's Association, and he has contributed to television, radio and publications, often with a focus on science, technology, and faith. He co-founded and was president of the Aerospace Heritage Foundation.
Born on 12 June 1950 in Midland, Ontario, David Onley attended local schools then graduated from the University of Toronto in 1975 with an Honours B.A. in Political Science. He worked as an intern at Queen's Park and attended the University of Windsor Law School.
In view of his success in life, Mr. Onley credits his Christian faith and the ongoing support of his wife, singer and Christian recording artist Ruth Ann Onley, and their three sons, Jonathan, Robert, and Michael. The Onleys live in Scarborough and are active members of the Safe Haven Worship Centre in Pickering.
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The Warriors' Day Parade Council welcomes His Honour as our 2012 Distinguished Guest of Honour and Reviewing Officer.