About Dave Levac
First elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1999 as the MPP for the ridding of Brant, Dave has since been re-elected four times. At the Legislature, he has held positions as the Public Safety & Security Critic, Chief Government Whip and Chair of the Cabinet’s Education Committee and the Chair of the Economic, Environment, and Resources Policy Committee. He also served as the Parliamentary Assistant for the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services and later, the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure.
During his career as a legislator Dave was a member to two interparliamentary organizations the Ontario-US Parliamentary Association and the Ontario Quebec Parliamentary Association where he served as Vice-Chair. He will remain an active member of both as Speaker.
Dave became Ontario’s 41st Speaker on November 21is, 2011, and was re-elected Speaker on July 2nd, 2014. As well as presiding over the Legislature, Speaker Levac chairs the Board of Internal Economy. Composed of MPP’s from the three political parties, this committee is responsible for all financial and administrative matters relating to the Legislative Assembly. The Speaker also has a diplomatic role, welcoming visiting dignitaries to the Legislative Building and representing Ontario’s parliament both in Canada and abroad.
After teaching elementary and secondary school for 12 years, Dave became an elementary school principal in 1989. In his capacity as a principal, Dave developed conflict resolution programs for which, among other accomplishments, he received a Distinguished Teacher Award in 1994. In addition to his teaching career, Dave took an active leadership role in his community through involvement in a number of local non-profit organizations.
2017 Speaker’s Book Award Winner
Steal Away Home: One Woman’s Epic Flight to Freedom-and Her Long Road Back to the South (HarperCollins Ltd., 2017) by Karolyn Smardz Frost is the winning entry of the 2017 Speaker’s Book Award.
The Honourable Dave Levac, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, made the announcement during a ceremony at the Ontario Legislature on March 5th, 2018.
Karolyn Smardz Frost’s fascinating new book delves into life in Toronto during the mid-1800s, when it was a hotbed for escaped slaves seeking asylum, as well as those sympathetic to the abolitionist cause. The author provides a history of the old St. John’s Ward, a pocket of the city closed in by College Street, Queen Street, Yonge Street and University Avenue—that not only provided refuge for fugitive slaves, but also for immigrants from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds seeking prosperity in the New World.
Smardz Frost’s impeccable research and vivid description takes the reader through the Civil War, the shameful backdrop of slavery, the history of the Underground Railroad in Ontario and the very real and stirring tale of one woman’s struggle for freedom—and her return to her former home on her own terms, despite the risk involved.