Leslie Frost

Leslie Frost

Infobox President
name = Leslie Miscampbell Frost

caption = The Hon. Leslie Miscampbell Frost
birth_date = birth date|1895|9|20|mf=y
birth_place = Orillia, Ontario
residence =
death_date = death date and age|1973|05|04|1895|09|20
death_place = Lindsay, Ontario
order= 16th Premier of Ontario
term_start = May 4, 1949
term_end = November 8, 1961
predecessor = Thomas Kennedy
successor = John Robarts
party = Ontario PC Party
religion = Presbyterianism, United
spouse = Gertrude Jane Carew

Leslie Miscampbell Frost, PC, CC, QC (September 20 1895 – May 4 1973) was a politician in Ontario, Canada, who served as Premier from May 4, 1949 to November 8, 1961. [cite news|url = http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071003.wmacgregor03/BNStory/ontarioelection2007/Ontario/|title = Frost favoured change, too -- the slow, methodical kind|author = Roy MacGregor|publisher = The Globe and Mail|date = October 3, 2007] Due to his lengthy tenure, he gained the nickname "Old Man Ontario". [cite news|url = http://www.thestar.com/article/255644|title = McGuinty has spring in his step|author = Ian Urquhart|date = September 12, 2007|publisher = The Toronto Star|accessdate = 2007-10-03]

Early years

Born in Orillia, Ontario, he was the son of William Sword Frost and Margaret Jane Barker.cite web|url = http://www.scenicorillia.com/orilliahalloffame/halloffame4.html|title = The Honourable Leslie M. Frost|publisher = The Orillia Hall of Fame|accessdate = 2007-10-03] His father was a jeweller and mayor of Orillia; his mother was an important figure in the early days of the Salvation Army. He attended the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall Law School.cite book|url = http://www.empireclubfoundation.com/details.asp?SpeechID=513&FT=yes|title = ONTARIO-1961 in The Empire Club of Canada Speeches 1961-1962|date = October 19, 1961|publisher = The Empire Club Foundation|author = Leslie M. Frost|accessdate = 2007|place = Toronto] During World War I, he served with the 20th Battalion, Queen's York Rangers in France and Belgium. In 1918, after being wounded, he was discharged with the rank of Captain. [cite web|url = http://www.trentu.ca/admin/library/archives/81-003.htm|title = Leslie Frost Taping Project|publisher = Trent University|accessdate = 2007-10-04] He was called to the Bar in 1921.

In 1926, he married Gertrude Jane Carew. They had no children. The couple lived in Lindsay, Ontario, but Frost preferred his property at Pleasant Point on Sturgeon Lake north of Lindsay. When Frost and his brother, Cecil Gray Frost, first moved to Lindsay to establish a law practice, they rented a building at Pleasant Point that had been the community store and commuted to town by steamer. Frost bought the property in 1925 and, in about 1950, bought adjacent property where he built the winterized log cabin that was his refuge while he was premier and in retirement.

Political career

In 1937, he was first elected to the Ontario legislature and thereafter never lost an election. He was the Treasurer of Ontario and Minister of Mines from 1943 to 1955. Frost was chosen as leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party following Premier George Drew's decision to enter federal politics. Dubbed "Old Man Ontario" and "The Laird of Lindsay", Frost led the province during the economic boom of the 1950s. [cite book|title = Canadian History: A Reader's Guide|author = Martin Brook Taylor, Doug Owram|publisher = University of Toronto Press|year = 1994|place = Toronto] His low key approach garnered him the nickname "The Great Tranquilizer". [cite web|url = http://media.www.brockpress.com/media/storage/paper384/news/2003/09/30/BrockTheVoteElection2003/In.Ontario.Politics.bland.Works-508461.shtml?sourcedomain=www.brockpress.com&MIIHost=media.collegepublisher.com|title = In Ontario politics, 'bland works'|author = Anya Spethmann|date = September 30 2003|publisher = The Brock Press|accessdate = 2007-10-04] Combining small town values with progressive policies, he took the Tories through three successive electoral victories winning majority governments in 1951, 1955 and 1959. [cite web|url = http://www.ontariopc.com/history_html.asp|title = History of our Party|publisher = Ontario Provincial Progressive Conservative Party|accessdate = 2007-10-03]

Frost's government oversaw great expansion in the role of government. Under his leadership, Ontario greatly expanded its schools, highways and hospitals.cite web|url = http://www.kids.premier.gov.on.ca/english/history/premiers/frost.asp|title = Leslie M. Frost|publisher = The Premier of Ontario|accessdate = 2007-10-04] His government substantially increased public investment in the economy, [cite web|url = http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0003088|title = Leslie Miscampbell Frost|publisher = The Canadian Encyclopedia|accessdate = 2007-10-04] as well as through strong fiscal policies. [cite web|url = http://www.library.yorku.ca/ccm/Frost/English/Glendonhistory/lesliefrost.htm|title = Leslie Frost|publisher = York University|accessdate = 2007-10-04] and under his leadership Ontario created the 400 series of superhighways. His government also attempted to wrest control of the income tax from the federal government, but failed, resulting in the introduction of a provincial sales tax.

His government oversaw substantial expansion in public services, including the introduction of public health insurance in Ontario under OHIP. [cite web|url = http://www.trulylocalpeople.com/lesliefrost.html|title = Leslie M. Frost|publisher = Cogeco Television|accessdate = 2007-10-04] The number of universities in Ontario increased from four to twelve. As finance minister in 1943, the total provincial investment in education was just over $13 million. Upon his retirement in 1961, the education budget for Ontario was $250 million.

The government of Leslie Frost was the first to pass laws providing penalties for racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination on private property; these laws, introduced in the early 1950s as the Fair Employment Practices Act and Fair Accommodation Practices Act, [cite news|url = http://www.thestar.com/article/180172|title = Forget Americans, honour Burnett|author = John Cooper|publisher = The Toronto Star|date = February 12, 2007|accessdate = 2007-10-03] started a movement in Ontario politics that produced the Ontario Human Rights Code in 1962 and later legislation. Frost's government also introduced legislation to ensure women received equal wages. His government also introduced voting rights for Indians.

Frost resigned in 1961, [cite web|url = http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0003088|title = Frost, Leslie Miscampbell|publisher = The Canadian Encyclopedia] and was succeeded as Tory leader and Premier by John Robarts. [cite web|url = http://www.nodice.ca/elections/ontario/premiers.php|title = Premiers of Ontario|publisher = Nodice Elections]


Upon retirement from politics, Frost served on the Board of Governors of the University of Toronto. As well, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Montreal, KVP, Canada Life, and Trans Canada Air. He served as Chancellor of Trent University from 1967 to 1973. In retirement, he continued his interest in the outdoors. Near the end of his life, he undertook for the government of Ontario an exhaustive investigation of the state and potential of Algonquin Provincial Park. [cite book|title = Protected Places: A History of Ontario's Provincial Parks System|author = Gerald Killan|pages = 179|publisher = Dundurn Press ltd.|year = 1993] In the last interview he gave, just before he died, to the "Toronto Star", he declared: "I am an environmentalist."

Frost was an excellent amateur historian. His book "Fighting Men" covered the history of the 35th Regiment of Simcoe Foresters from Orillia, Ontario in the context of the First World War. Within that he connects the Canadian home front to the war front in France, and connects the events within the regiment to the bigger picture of the war and Canada's subsequent role in world affairs. [cite journal|title = Fighting Men. Leslie Frost|author = Terence J. Fay|journal = Military Affairs|volume = 33|number = 3|month = December | year = 1969|pages = 413|url = http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0026-3931%28196912%2933%3A3%3C413%3AGHWH%3E2.0.CO%3B2-Y|accessdate = 2007-10-03] His Forgotten Pathways of the Trent (published just after he died) challenged historians' previous conclusions about Indian trade and warfare routes in southern Ontario. He was an avid U.S. Civil War buff and kept on the mantelpiece in his large library a piece of wood that was supposed to have come from Abraham Lincoln's original log cabin.


In 1969, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada, Canada's highest civilian honour. [cite web|url = http://www.gg.ca/honours/search-recherche/honours-desc.asp?lang=e&TypeID=orc&id=1978|title = Leslie M. Frost, C.C.|publisher = Governor General of Canada|accessdate = 2007-10-04]

The Frost Building, which houses the Ontario Ministry of Finance and the Ontario Management Board Secretariat, at Queen's Park, was named in his honour.

The Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Native Studies, at Trent University, [cite web|url = http://www.trentu.ca/frostcentre/|title = The Frost Centre for Canadian Studies & Native Studies|publisher = Trent University|accessdate = 2007-10-04] the Leslie Frost Library at Glendon College, York University, [cite web|url = http://www.glendon.yorku.ca/english/library.html|title = Leslie Frost Library|publisher = Glendon College|accessdate = 2007-10-23] and a school in Lindsay, Ontario, Leslie Frost Public School [cite web|url = http://www.tldsb.on.ca/Schools/LeslieFrostPS/|title = Leslie Frost Public School|publisher = Trillium Lakelands District School Board|accessdate = 2007-10-23] are named after Frost.

elected bibliography

* "Pleasant Point Story: a History of Pleasant Point" (1965)
* "Fighting Men", with a foreword by Thomas H.B. Symons (1967)
* "Forgotten Pathways of the Trent" (1973, ISBN 0-88768-037-2)
* "The record on Sir Sam Hughes set straight"



External links

* [http://www.gg.ca/honours/search-recherche/honours-desc.asp?lang=e&TypeID=orc&id=1978 Order of Canada Citation]

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