In November, the OLIP interns had the pleasure of meeting with the former Premier of Ontario, David Peterson. Mr. Peterson was first elected in 1975 as the Liberal MPP for London Centre, and in 1985 won a very slim plurality of the popular vote in the general election. After leading a minority government with the support of the NDP for two years, Mr. Peterson’s Liberals were re-elected with a very large majority government. Mr. Peterson’s government lost in a 1990 snap election to the NDP.
During our meeting, it was particularly exciting to hear about Mr. Peterson’s time in government, given the second-to-none experience Mr. Peterson had as first minister. He provided insight into his party’s agreement with the NDP led by future premier Bob Rae, and his views on the shift in the political dynamics of the province since his tenure as premier concluded.
On his government’s accord with the NDP, Mr. Peterson said that while the two parties disagreed on many issues, they worked together to find common ground and advance policies that would improve the lives of people in Ontario. To conclude the meeting, Mr. Peterson also touched on his career after politics, which included serving as the inaugural chairman of the Toronto Raptors, the two-time Chancellor of the University of Toronto, and the vice-chair of the Toronto Star’s editorial board.
Thank you to former Premier Peterson for taking the time to meet with us. Your insights were remarkably valuable and will help guide us through our unique experiences as OLIP interns.