John Melville Turner

For other people named John Turner, see John Turner (disambiguation).
John Turner
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded by Gillian Sandeman
Succeeded by Peter Adams
In office
Preceded by Walter Pitman
Succeeded by Gillian Sandeman
Constituency Peterborough
Personal details
Born (1922-09-24)September 24, 1922
Peterborough, Ontario
Died January 20, 2013(2013-01-20) (aged 90)
Peterborough, Ontario
Political party Progressive Conservative

John Melville Turner (born September 24, 1922 – January 20, 2013)[1] was a Canadian politician in the province of Ontario. He served in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1971 to 1975, and again from 1977 to 1987, as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party. He was the Speaker of the Ontario Legislature from 1981 to 1985.


Turner was born and educated in Peterborough, Ontario. He served in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a Pilot Officer from 1942 to 1945, and later worked as a business manager. He was an alderman in Peterborough from 1969 to 1971, and also served on the city health board. On March 31, 2014 Jeff Leal, Peterborough MPP and Minister of Rural Affairs announced that 55 km of Highway 115 from Peterborough to the 401 MacDonald-Cartier Freeway was dedicated as the John M. Turner Memorial Highway in honour of Turner's service to his country, province and community. Turner was a member of St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, and a member of the Peterborough Rotary Club.


In 1971, Turner was elected to the Ontario legislature in the provincial election, defeating New Democratic Party incumbent Walter Pitman by 590 votes in the Peterborough constituency.[2] He served as a backbench supporter of Bill Davis's government for the next four years, and lost to NDP candidate Gillian Sandeman by 505 votes in the 1975 election.[3]

Turner defeated Sandeman by 2,648 votes in the 1977 election.[4] He defeated Liberal Party candidate Peter Adams by 6,699 votes in the 1981 election.[5] He was appointed as Speaker of the Legislature on April 21, 1981.

The Progressive Conservatives were reduced to a tenuous minority government under Frank Miller's leadership in the 1985 provincial election. Turner was re-elected in Peterborough, but was replaced as Speaker by Liberal Hugh Edighoffer when the Tories lost control of the legislature after the election.[6] Turner served as an opposition member for the next two years, and did not seek re-election in 1987.

Electoral record

Ontario general election, 1981: Peterborough
Party Candidate Votes%Expenditures
     Progressive Conservative John Turner 17,962 45.92 $37,481
LiberalPeter Adams 11,263 28.80 $24,430
New DemocraticPaul Rexe 8,756 22.39 $21,400
LibertarianJohn Hayes 787 2.01 $3,667
     Independent Bruce Knapp 286 0.73 $936
     Independent Kenneth T. Burgess 59 0.15 $0
Total valid votes 39,113 100.00
Rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 191
Turnout 39,304 63.06
Electors on the lists 62,332
Ontario general election, 1985: Peterborough
Party Candidate Votes%∆%
     Progressive Conservative John Melville Turner 16,878 43.03
New DemocraticLinda Slavin 11,941 30.44
LiberalBill Ayotte 9,734 24.82
LibertarianJohn Conlin 461 1.18
GreenGeorge Kerr 212 0.54
Total valid votes 39,226 100.00
Rejected, unmarked, and declined ballots 233
Turnout 39,459 60.25
Electors on the lists 65,493


  1. "The Peterborough Examiner". yourlifemoments. 20 January 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  2. "Riding-by-riding returns in provincial election". The Globe and Mail. October 23, 1971. p. 10.
  3. "Table of vote results for all Ontario ridings". The Globe and Mail. September 19, 1975. p. C12.
  4. "Ontario provincial election results riding by riding". The Globe and Mail. June 10, 1977. p. D9.
  5. Canadian Press (March 20, 1981). "Winds of change, sea of security". The Windsor Star. Windsor, Ontario. p. 22.
  6. "Results of vote in Ontario election". The Globe and Mail. May 3, 1985. p. 13.
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