THUNDER BAY – Douglas Fisher had the title of both giant-killer and giant. As a giant-killer it was his campaign in 1957 against the political giant, and “Minister of Everything” C. D. Howe that won Fisher his seat in Parliament. Then his later career as a journalist led him to the top of the profession and the reputation as the dean of the parliamentary press gallery in Ottawa.
Today. thanks to a generous gift from POSTMEDIA, Lakehead University is naming a new law scholarship and a seminar room after the late Douglas M. Fisher, a librarian and history teacher at the Port Arthur Collegiate Institute in the 1950s.
Fisher became the Member of Parliament for Port Arthur from 1957 until 1965, first with the Co-operative Commonwealth Party, which became known as the NDP in 1961. For 45 years, he worked as a political columnist for The Toronto Telegram and then The Toronto Sun until he retired in 2006.
Lakehead University Chancellor Dr. Derek Burney helped announce the scholarship and the naming of the room.
“Doug Fisher pulled off one of the greatest upsets in Canadian history by beating CD Howe in the 1957 election,” Dr. Burney said.
“He truly was a renaissance man who meant a lot to the people of Port Arthur as a teacher, a politician, and a columnist. Doug became known as ‘the Dean of the Parliamentary Press Gallery’ after spending years covering politics. Even after he retired from The Toronto Sun, politicians still called him for advice,” Dr. Burney said.
The large seminar room on the mezzanine of the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law Library was named after Fisher, along with a new law scholarship that will be awarded annually to a second-year law student who is in the top 10 per cent of their first-year class.
“Naming the scholarship and seminar room after Doug is a way of recognizing the accomplishments of a brilliant and exceptional individual from our region who loved Northwestern Ontario,” said Dr. Brian Stevenson, Lakehead University’s President and Vice-Chancellor. “Today, we appropriately honour the storied achievements of Mr. Fisher by giving his name to a part of this Thunder Bay heritage building.”
Gordon Fisher, president of National Post, said POSTMEDIA was delighted to have the opportunity to support a lasting tribute to a great Canadian statesman and journalist, “a storied figure in the history of our company.”
Facts about Douglas M. Fisher
- Fisher passed away in 2009, one day before his 90th birthday.
- He was born in 1919 in Sioux Lookout, which is where he was raised.
- Fisher was a soldier in the Second World War with the 12th Manitoba Dragoons
- He taught history at PACI in the 1950s.
- Fisher became the Member of Parliament – Port Arthur in 1957 after winning against CD Howe. Howe was considered a giant in the political realm, which made Fisher’s victory even more impressive.
- In 1961, Fisher began writing about politics for The Toronto Telegram.
- By 1965, he left politics to work full-time as a political columnist for the Telegram, and when it closed Fisher began writing for The Toronto Sun.
- He served as chair of Hockey Canada’s Board of Directors from 1974 to 1977, helping create the Canada Cup international tournament and organize the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the Soviet Union.
- Fisher also spent 25 years hosting a weekly political television show on CJOH in Ottawa.