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Former premier Bill Davis to be honoured in Brampton

Former premier Bill Davis is being commemorated with a park memorial in his beloved Brampton.
March 2, 2022
Robert Benzie

Former premier Bill Davis is being commemorated with a memorial in his beloved Brampton.

Davis, Progressive Conservative premier from 1971 until 1985, died last August at 92.

Heritage Minister Lisa MacLeod announced Tuesday that Queen’s Park would earmark up to $150,000 toward the monument in Brampton’s Gage Park.

“Today marks the 51st anniversary of Bill Davis first being elected as premier of Ontario,” MacLeod said.

“During his long career in politics, premier Davis made a remarkable and lasting impact on the province and on the lives of Ontarians,” she said, referring to a leader who created the province’s community college system as well as the educational broadcaster TVO.

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, who was personally close to Davis, said the memorial would be unveiled later this year.

“Bill Davis’ work has left a lasting legacy across the province and country, as a premier who contributed to the patriation of the Constitution and Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, post-secondary education, the environment and so much more,” said Brown.

“He was Brampton’s proudest supporter, and this memorial will ensure that his legacy is preserved for decades to come,” said the mayor, himself a former PC leader.

An artist will be commissioned to create the memorial.

In a statement, the Davis family expressed “our gratitude to the provincial government and city of Brampton for their commitment to honouring the beloved patriarch of our family with this memorial project.”

“He was a proud Bramptonian, whose passion for this city and province is far-reaching and long-lasting.”

The previous Liberal government of premier Kathleen Wynne honoured him in 2017 with the 1.3 km William G. Davis Trail as part of a new $30-million, 7.5-acre waterfront park at Ontario Place.