Osgoode alumni dominate PC leadership race

Osgoode alumnus John Tory (LLB ’78) won the leadership of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives Saturday at the party’s convention in Toronto – a race that saw two Osgoode graduates vying to replace a third.

john toryTory succeeds former Ontario premier Ernie Eves (LLB ’70) as leader of the official Opposition at Queen’s Park. He defeated Jim Flaherty (LLB ’73) by more than 3,300 votes.

Left: John Tory, new Ontario PC leader

“I remember John from the days when he and I were students in the late 1970s,” said Osgoode Dean Patrick Monahan. “Even then he demonstrated strong leadership skills and the ability to bring people together. In fact, it took me a few months to realize that he was a fellow student rather than a member of the faculty.

“John has remained a strong supporter of the law school through the years, and it’s good to know that Osgoode will have another strong supporter at Queen’s Park,” Monahan said .

In addition to practising law briefly, Tory served as commissioner of the Canadian Football League and as CEO of Rogers Cable. He takes over a party that was reduced to 24 seats in the October 2003 provincial election, versus 72 seats for the governing Liberals under Premier Dalton McGuinty. The next Ontario election will be held in 2007.

Principal secretary in the mid-1980s to premier Bill Davis, Tory is expected to reposition the party as more moderate than it was under former premier Mike Harris.