A Disability Perspective on the Enduring Legacy of the Late Premier Bill Davis

Ontario collectively mourns the death yesterday of former Ontario Premier William Davis. The politicians and pundits properly recite his many accomplishments over his many years in public life. Among those lasting achievements, it is important to list what he did for Ontarians with disabilities.

Four decades ago, it was entirely lawful to discriminate against people with disabilities in Ontario. It was also constitutional for Canada’s Parliament or a provincial legislature to pass a law or operate a program or policy that discriminated against people with disabilities. The pivotal year when that all changed was 1982, forty years ago next spring.