Darcy McKeough

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Darcy McKeough
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded byNew riding
Succeeded byAndy Watson
In office
Preceded byGeorge Parry
Succeeded byRiding abolished
ConstituencyKent West
Personal details
Born (1933-01-31) January 31, 1933 (age 88)
Chatham, Ontario, Canada
Political partyProgressive Conservative

William Darcy McKeough, OC (born January 31, 1933) is a former politician in Ontario, Canada. He was a Progressive Conservative member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1963 to 1978 who represented the ridings of Kent West and Chatham—Kent. He was a cabinet minister in the government of Bill Davis. Due to McKeough's senior position in cabinet as Treasurer, Minister of Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Municipal Affairs, he was often referred to as the 'Duke of Kent'.

After he retired from politics in 1978, he spent a further career in business administering to his companies McKeough Investments and McKeough Supply. He also spent time as a member of the board of Hydro One and was a former CEO of Union Gas.


Born in Chatham, Ontario and educated at Ridley College in St. Catharines, Canada. After which received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario in 1954.


From 1960 to 1961 and 1962 to 1963, he was a member of the Chatham City Council.

In the 1963 provincial election, McKeough ran as the Progressive Conservative candidate in the southwestern Ontario riding of Kent West. He defeated Liberal candidate G.R. Newkirk by 1,739 votes.[1] In 1967, he ran in the new riding of Chatham—Kent and defeated Liberal Tom Henry by 1,291 votes.[2] He was re-elected in 1971, 1975 and 1977.[3][4][5]

In 1966 he was appointed to cabinet as a Minister without portfolio by Premier John Robarts.[6] In 1967 he was promoted to Minister of Municipal Affairs after the previous minister, Wilf Spooner was defeated in the 1967 election.[7] Among other things, he introduced legislation to create the city of Thunder Bay in Northern Ontario by an amalgamation of existing municipalities.[8]

In 1971, he entered the leadership race to replace Robarts who retired in December 1970.[9] He was viewed as a compromise candidate between front runner Bill Davis and contender Allan Lawrence.[10] He placed third in the contest which was won by Davis. After McKeough dropped out he endorsed Davis which was seen as a key move in Davis's narrow victory.[11] In return, Davis appointed McKeough to the senior cabinet post of Treasurer of Ontario and Minister of Economics.[12]

In September 1972, McKeough resigned from cabinet when it was revealed in a story by The Globe and Mail that he was involved in a conflict of interest when, as Minister of Municipal Affairs, his ministry had approved a housing development in which he was financially involved.[13] In his resignation announcement, McKeough claimed he had done nothing wrong but felt that he could no longer continue in his position when is credibility would be continually questioned.[14]

In 1973 he was returned to cabinet as Minister of Energy.[15] In January 1975, he was restored to the posts of Treasurer and Minister of Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs.[16] In August 1978 he retired from politics.[17]

Cabinet posts[edit]

Ontario provincial government of Bill Davis
Cabinet posts (4)
Predecessor Office Successor
John White Treasurer of Ontario
Also Minister of Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs
Frank Miller
Position created Minister of Energy
Dennis Timbrell
Dalton Bales Minister of Municipal Affairs
1972 (February–September)
Bob Welch
Charles MacNaughton Treasurer of Ontario
Also Minister of Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs
Charles MacNaughton
Ontario provincial government of John Robarts
Cabinet posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Wilf Spooner Minister of Municipal Affairs
Dalton Bales
Sub-Cabinet Post
Predecessor Title Successor
Minister without portfolio

Later life[edit]

After leaving political office in 1978 he returned to the private sector and has had a number of positions, particularly in the energy sector. In 1994, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada for his "successful business ventures and fund-raising efforts on behalf of educational, medical, research and cultural institutions".[18]


  1. ^ Canadian Press (September 26, 1963). "78 in Tory Blue Wave -- 23 Is All Grits Saved". The Windsor Star. Windsor, Ontario. p. 25.
  2. ^ Canadian Press (October 18, 1967). "Tories win, but..." The Windsor Star. Windsor, Ontario. p. B2.
  3. ^ "Riding-by-riding returns in provincial election". The Globe and Mail. October 23, 1971. p. 10.
  4. ^ "Table of vote results for all Ontario ridings". The Globe and Mail. September 19, 1975. p. C12.
  5. ^ "Ontario provincial election results riding by riding". The Globe and Mail. June 10, 1977. p. D9.
  6. ^ "Five added to Cabinet by Robarts". The Globe and Mail. November 25, 1966. p. 1.
  7. ^ Dafoe, John (November 24, 1967). "Just one new member is shuffled into Robarts Cabinet". The Globe and Mail. p. 8.
  8. ^ "Two Lakehead cities will be joined Jan. 1, McKeough announces". The Globe and Mail. January 28, 1969. p. 1.
  9. ^ "Robarts resigning as Premier; Davis considered leading contender". The Globe and Mail. December 9, 1970. p. 1.
  10. ^ Newman, Donald (February 12, 1971). "McKeough designates himself compromise choice". The Globe and Mail. p. 8.
  11. ^ Munro, Ross H. (February 13, 1971). "Beats Lawrence by 44 votes: Davis New Ontario PC Leader: McKeough aid a key factor". The Globe and Mail. p. 1.
  12. ^ Manthorpe, Jonathan; Slinger, John (March 2, 1971). "Changes in policies promised: Davis priorities to include environment and jobless". The Globe and Mail. p. 1.
  13. ^ Zaritzky, John (August 28, 1972). "McKeough approved subdivision of land he had financial interest in". The Globe and Mail. p. 1.
  14. ^ Manthorpe, jonathan (September 1, 1972). "'Satisfied I have personally done nothing wrong,' McKeough resigns from Cabinet". The Globe and Mail. p. 3.
  15. ^ Webster, Norman (July 5, 1973). "McKeough back in Cabinet as new Minister of Energy". The Globe and Mail. p. 5.
  16. ^ "2 ministers plagued by recent illnesses to take on new Cabinet responsibilities". The Globe and Mail. January 15, 1975. p. 31.
  17. ^ Oziewicz, Stan (August 17, 1978). "Brash Darcy McKeough seeks 'something new' with room at the top". The Globe and Mail. p. 5.
  18. ^ "15 Torontonians among 80 named to Order of Canada". Toronto Star. January 7, 1994. p. A12.

External links[edit]