John Reesor Williams

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John Reesor Williams
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded byNew riding
Succeeded byElinor Caplan
Personal details
Born (1930-09-09) September 9, 1930 (age 88)
Toronto, Ontario
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Lorraine Mary (O'Donnell) Williams

John Reesor Williams (born September 9, 1930) is a former politician in Ontario, Canada. He served as a Progressive Conservative member in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1975 to 1985, and was briefly a cabinet minister in the government of Frank Miller.


Williams was born in Toronto, the son of Luella Mae Maud (Reesor) and Thomas John Williams,[1] he was educated at the University of Western Ontario and Osgoode Hall Law School. He worked as a barrister and solicitor before entering political life. Comedian Harland Williams is one of his five children.

His mother was the daughter of George Reesor, a descendant of one of the German families that originally settled Markham, Ontario in 1794.

Municipal politics[edit]

Williams was an alderman in North York from 1963 to 1972, and was deputy mayor and Controller of the borough from 1973 to 1974, he also served on the Metro Toronto Council during this period, and was a board member of St. Matthew the Apostle Anglican Church in 1971. From 1973 to 1975, he served on the board of governors for Seneca College.

Provincial politics[edit]

He was elected to the Ontario legislature in the 1975 provincial election, defeating Liberal candidate Bob Reid by 239 votes in the North York district of Oriole,[2] he was re-elected with an increased majority in the 1977[3] and 1981 elections,[4] and served as a backbench supporter of the Bill Davis government.

Williams supported Frank Miller to succeed Davis as Premier of Ontario in January 1985,[5] and was appointed as Solicitor-General when Miller became premier on February 8, 1985,[6] his appointment was controversial in some circles. Williams was strongly pro-life, and had previously opposed granting any police protection to Henry Morgentaler's abortion clinic in Toronto.[7]

Miller's government lost several seats in the 1985 election, and was subsequently defeated in the legislature. Williams was personally defeated in Oriole by Liberal candidate Elinor Caplan.[8]

In 2005, veteran legislators Sean Conway and Bob Runciman both named Williams as the most boring speaker they had encountered in the course of their careers, his speaking style is demonstrated in the following quote: "the type of rhetoric from the opposition continues without any factual backups to substantiate those generalizations that have become nothing more than rhetoric and well-worn clichés".[9]


Ontario Provincial Government of Bill Davis
Cabinet post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
George Taylor Solicitor General
1985 (February–May)
Bud Gregory


  1. ^ Pierre G. Normandin (1965). Canadian Parliamentary Guide. p. 840.
  2. ^ "Table of vote results for all Ontario ridings". The Globe and Mail. September 19, 1975. p. C12.
  3. ^ "Ontario provincial election results riding by riding". The Globe and Mail. June 10, 1977. p. D9.
  4. ^ Canadian Press (March 20, 1981). "Election results for Metro Toronto". The Windsor Star. Windsor, Ontario. p. 22. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
  5. ^ Cruickshank, John (January 23, 1985). "Rumor mill the enemy in Miller's campaign". The Globe and Mail. p. 5.
  6. ^ "The Ontario Cabinet". The Globe and Mail. February 9, 1985. p. 4.
  7. ^ Marotte, Bertrand (February 18, 1985). "Both sides in abortion debate planning rallies this week". The Globe and Mail. p. 14.
  8. ^ "Results of vote in Ontario election". The Globe and Mail. May 3, 1985. p. 13.
  9. ^ Eric Dowd (September 2005). "Winner of most boring speaker is…". Northern Life. Archived from the original on November 11, 2005.

External links[edit]